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Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success
information about the learning and curricular needs of diverse learners (students with disabilities, with limited English proficiency, with English language dialect differences);
in settings in which children are learning to read in a language other than English, an understanding of—as well as strategies and techniques for—teaching children to read in that language and information about bilingual language and literacy development;
information on the design features and requirements of a reading curriculum;
information about how teachers apply research judiciously to their practice, how to update their research knowledge, and how to influence research agendas, including teacher-researcher collaborations; and
information about how to maintain and promote motivation to read and positive attitudes toward reading.
Thorough teacher education is essential; even so, teachers cannot possibly be fully prepared before the first day on the job. School districts should do more to encourage the ongoing, career-long development of teachers. Young teachers need support from mentor teachers as they develop. Experienced teachers should receive periodic training opportunities. Beyond traditional workshops, districts and schools should consider teacher research projects, discussion groups, school-university partnerships, and ways to encourage individual teacher efforts toward improvement (e.g., certification by the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards). In addition, schools should identify, reward, and acknowledge teachers who are highly effective, from the preschool level up.