Adolescent Literacy Leadership Forum. (n.d.). Leading for literacy: A compendium of best practices for successful leadership in adolescent literacy. Retrieved January 27, 2008 compendium.pdf

Author: Various presenters of the Adolescent Literacy Leadership Forum



This resource is a compilation of professional articles written by various Forum presenters at the Adolescent Literacy Leadership Forums. These forums, which are conferences aimed at supporting literacy best practices in Ohio secondary classrooms, are collaboratively hosted by the Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics, Science, and Reading and the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Literacy. This collection of articles focuses on literacy leadership, specifically implementing school-wide literacy initiatives. The following articles are included:

Less is More in Middle and High School Literacy Leadership by Rosemarye T. Taylor. This article explains that any action to improve literacy achievement must be highly focused and, when appropriate, implemented school-wide if it is to be effective. If you are a literacy coach or administrator at a middle or high school, and you are considering how to design, or redesign, a school-wide literacy initiative, this article will be useful. Furthermore, if you are a teacher looking to inform your literacy choices, this article, and its references, might be helpful.

Improving Literacy and Learning at the Middle and High School Level: What effective Literacy Leaders Know and Do by Julie Meltzer. This article takes the concept of a school-wide literacy initiative and discusses why it is needed and what is required of it, and offers advice for implementing it. According to the author, a school's leadership - not its students, and not its teachers - is the difference between a school that is focused on motivation, engagement, and achievement and one that remains bogged down by its various challenges. The article does not give a step-by-step framework for implementing a literacy plan, but rather implores you to think deeply so that the efforts you choose to make can be more effective. At the end of this article is a school assessment tool built around four issues found to affect the willingness of teachers to make change in their classrooms - environment, engagement, expectations, and encouragement and support. The assessment is intended to help school administrators, literacy coaches, and teacher leaders focus on specific strategies to increase teacher support of building literacy initiatives.

What's a Principal to Do? by Melvinna Phillips. This article is written for school principals as they struggle to navigate the following question: "How am I to create a school culture to best support teachers as we collaboratively develop a literacy-rich environment for our students?" (p. 12). Phillips leads the reader through a series of consideration points: professional development provides the foundation, professional development is not a one-shot deal, schedules and structures provide the environment, accountability to assure success, and school literacy leaders provide the glue. Each point is discussed thoroughly, and collectively emphasizes the highest point of effect: the principal is the key to literacy success at their school. This is an excellent article for school-based administration, but would be a helpful resource for literacy coaches and district administrators as well.

Starting Professional Conversations by Jan Goodwin. A principal's life is busy and hectic; this is no surprise. But while many principals have eagerly made the commitment to lead their schools in making changes to improve literacy instruction and learning, navigating that change often proves daunting. Goodwin's article advises principals on how to get the teachers and staff started in conversations that will lead to real change. The advice might benefit principal, literacy coach, and teacher leaders alike. Goodwin also guides readers to a resource that provides quick professional development lessons to be used with staff:

Standards-Based Instruction for Adolescents with Special Needs: Looking for Ways to Turn All Students into Engaged Readers and Capable Writers by Harriet Fayne and Adele Weiss. This article is written for content teachers who work with students who struggle with their literacy skills. As defined, some of these students are identified special needs, and others are not. Regardless, the authors' goal is to provide a collection of "practical, evidence-based strategies that will allow you to achieve success with special needs students" (p. 18). Additionally, Fayne and Weiss offer advice on how to get these students engaged in their own learning. Because the literacy coach works to increase the quality of teacher literacy instruction, this article could also serve to offer them insight into how to support a teacher's strategies with his/her struggling students.

Date Added: 02/09/2008


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