Portrait of a Literacy Educator

Literacy faculty of the Department of Early Childhood Elementary and Literacy Education are committed to the development of literacy educators who:

I. Continue to inquire into the nature of teaching and learning and reflect upon professional practice.

  • Know philosophies and theories of literacy instruction.
  • Possess knowledge of reading process, language development, and learning.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of selection process as it pertains to literacy resources and materials.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of assessment principles and techniques.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate instructional strategies.
  • Are effective communicators who share information about reading with colleagues, parents, and the community.
  • Are technologically literate and know how technology facilitates learning and enhances literacy.

II. Possess the skills and dispositions necessary to create literacy environments, which stimulate critical thinking and inquiry.

  • Can organize and plan effective literacy programs for classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Instill enthusiasm in others, for the delights and rewards of literacy development.
  • Possess the interpersonal skills and dispositions to work cooperatively and collaboratively with colleagues.

III. Understand the principles of democracy and the roles of literacy and critical thinking within a democracy.

  • Possess the literacy and critical thinking abilities associated with the concept of an educated person.
  • Plan instruction to promote critical reflection about the ideas, values, and practices of citizenship based upon democratic principles.

IV. Understand and are committed to the professional and ethical responsibilities of those who work in educational settings with diverse populations.

  • Believe in the educability of all children regardless of race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and special needs.
  • Seek to ensure equitable learning opportunities for every student.
  • Provide a nurturing and caring environment for all students.

V. Model respect and empathy for individual differences and an appreciation of the basic worth of each individual.

  • Plan instruction and select materials with sensitivity to issues of race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and special needs.
  • Work to foster an appreciation of diversity among students, colleagues, and parents.

VI. Are committed to renewal and best practice in the schools.

  • Lead, implement, and/or support change in literacy, teaching and learning.
  • Possess passion and commitment to lifelong learning and literacy development.
  • Build and participate in communities of inquiry related to literacy development.

[Adapted from the Montclair State University Portrait of a Teacher and Standards for Reading Professionals. (1992). IRA & NCTE.] 11/07/03