Neher, A. P. (2007). Wading through it: Balancing opposing tensions via effective literacy coaching. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 3(1), 65-70. Available:

Author: Neher, A. P.



This article describes, and emphasizes the importance of, the role of literacy coaches to create and nurture professional learning communities in their schools. In this author's experience, an effective literacy coach can serve as a navigational guide, supporting teachers as they struggle between two forces: imposed forces that push them toward aligned, uniform teaching and decision making; and the internal forces of individual philosophy and belief. According to the author, it was the literacy coach who made the difference for teachers, and the school, in developing a course of action that both fulfilled imposed educational mandates and satisfied the professional standards and beliefs of the teachers in the building. In this way, this literacy coach acted as liaison between building and district. The author comments, "Although much has been written about the duties and responsibilities of literacy coaches, not much has been said about their role in normalizing the tensions teachers can sense between implementing curriculum mandates and standardized tests, and their own teaching philosophies" (p. 65). This article attends to this role, and how the literacy coach, as member of the professional learning community in the school, can facilitate educational transitions, and consequently ease turmoil in schools.

This would be an interesting read for literacy coaches, teachers, administrators, and all members and leaders of the professional learning community in schools.

Date Added: 02/06/2008


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