2nd Edition

Becoming a Literacy Leader Supporting Learning and Change

By Jennifer Allen Copyright 2016

    In this second edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change, author Jennifer Allen reflects on her work as a literacy specialist and how the role has evolved in the decade since she wrote the first edition. Her experiences can apply to all school leaders including principals, coaches, teachers, support staff, and office administrators. Allen focuses on three ideas to describe her work: Layered Leadership, the multitude of supports in place for teachers to encourage learning and change within schools; Shared experiences that develop community and develop common understanding of practices, curriculum, and assessment; Importance of 'rowing in the same direction' in that literacy coaches and leaders stay interconnected and aligned to the goals of the school. Allen knows the challenges of teachers face and advocates literacy coaches implement these layers of support within a school, including in-class support, curriculum support and assessment, study group facilitation, and the cultivation of teacher leadership. In Becoming a Literacy Leader, she provides an explicit framework for implementing these layers of coaching and explains how administrators can use the literacy leader position to build and sustain change within their schools. This book will be the road map for how literacy leaders and coaches approach their work with purpose and intention. Online videos that accompany the book bring the text alive by showing readers what coaching looks and sounds like.

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Layered Coaching; Chapter 2: Being a Resource: A Room of One's Own for Literacy; Chapter 3: A Model for Required Professional Development: “MY LIFE IN SEVEN STORIES”; Chapter 4: Study Groups: Developing Voluntary Professional Development; Chapter 5: Coaching in Classrooms: Differentiating Support for New and Veteran Teachers; Chapter 6: Supporting Curriculum and Assessment; Chapter 7: Helping Kids on the Bubble: The Literacy Intervention Classroom; Chapter 8: Creating Unity through Whole-School Experiences; Chapter 9: Cultivating Teacher Leadership; Chapter 10: Nuts and Bolts: Scheduling and Budget; Chapter 11: Final Words: MENTORING NEW TALENT


    Jennifer Allen is a literacy specialist in grades 3-5 for the Waterville, Maine, school district, where she works as a reading coach and leads professional development programs for teachers. Jennifer has presented her work to regional and national audiences through state literacy organizations, the International Literacy Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a frequent contributor to Choice Literacy and Lead Literacy.

    Jennifer Allen's second edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader (9781625310965, $33.33) covers the author's work as she moved to a new school and position as a literacy specialist, and examines what it means to assume such a role in supporting learning and change. While the first edition of this book detailed her work and move, this latest continues the process of evaluating her newfound role as a literacy guide, adding more information gleaned from the ten years since her first discussion and surveying the basics of how she applied her job to the school community. The result is more than just an update of events, but a re-assessment gained from further experiences in the blossoming school system and new position, and is a highly recommended reference for any teacher considering the role of a literacy leader.
    Midwest Book Review, Bookwatch, November 2016
    Education Shelf
      The second updated edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change provides a revised new edition of her basic work, which detailed the author's move to a new school and job as a literacy specialist which required she put the most basic of teaching environments into place. This revision ten years later reflects new developments in the field of literacy teaching and new ideas she has designed as her profession evolved, and shares with other teachers the basics of both professional development and the process of building a student literacy framework. Chapters include discussion questions of literacy meetings, consider the key components of such processes as literacy intervention rooms, and assess progress and programs with a two-year track record and how data indicates the reading and writing development process. The result goes far beyond the first edition, making this a winner for aspiring literacy teachers who want field-tested assessments of what works and the challenges involved in shaping effective literacy programs.
    Midwest Book Review