Cate thinks it is unacceptable that all students aren’t engaged, excited or encouraged to achieve their best in all aspects of literacy learning. She believes in a school where all students love learning and engage in all areas of literacy through engaging and exciting lessons with pedagogical approaches, but at the start of the Changemaker Journey not all students in her school were showing growth in writing, spelling or reading, and many classes were engaging in ‘old school pedagogies’ when it came to reading.
Cate developed the WOW Writers program; a pedagogical and literacy approach for all students to become literate through engagement, excitement and encouragement about writing.
She ran the WOW Writers approach in her class by herself, and when she saw 100% growth in all students (both low and high achievers) she knew she was onto something special.
Equipped with the tools from the first Changemaker workshop that she needed and the confidence to lead the project, Cate supported 2 other colleagues to implement the program in their classrooms. Once they also saw impressive improvements in students, Cate took a deep breath and ran a workshop for 20 other educators from different sites through the Sea and Vines Partnership in South Australia.
Back at school Cate ran a staff meeting with 19 of her colleagues and received positive feedback from all in attendance, and more importantly, a commitment to try out the WOW Writers approach (or elements of it) in their own classes. She was approached by another staff member for a greater level of support – he wants to get it right! – and Cate’s supporting him in his implementation.
Cate has modelled literacy lessons for several teachers (both at her site and from other sites), demonstrating different strategies, and she’s excited about the approach for 2018 because her school leadership team has suggested there’s an opportunity to scale the initiative across the school.
Cate’s impact has been huge! She worked with 30 students in 2016 and another 31 in 2017, along with 90 other students from her site through showing her colleagues the WOW Writers initiative. There’s another 100+ students at other sites in her regions who’re experiencing improvements in engagement and achievement. Bring on 2018!
“After running my workshops this year I have made an impact on a teacher from another site. She has since been released to see me model lessons and to plan with me. She’s been able to share what her class has achieved since starting the approach, and the biggest impact for her has been with her students who were reluctant learners and very problematic when it came to literacy. She told me about a student who was able to verbalise and write his ideas down, extending to use descriptive and figurative language. She hadn’t seen him do as much work as he did in this literacy unit; he was engaged and excited!”
Like the idea?
Cate would love your support for World of Wonderful Writers, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Cate and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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