If you are like me, you are a geek about language.
You love how language works. And, as heartbreaking as it is to witness, you are fascinated by how it can get muddled up.
You are fiercely dedicated to arming your students with the skills and strategies they need to make it in life. Your work is your calling.
Your friends and colleagues tell you that you’re generous, witty, and verbal. You like being around people that share these qualities so you can swap ideas and help each other reach the children who need champions. You are driven to be at the top of your game.
I get out of bed every day to work with Jess Curtin, one of the finest (and most hilarious) people I know. I’m an SLP, and she’s an educator. We are a fabulous geek team. For our whole careers, we have been doing the same work that you have for all the same reasons.
People like us crave opportunities to talk to others who love language and literacy and learning as much as we do. We strive to get better at our craft every day.
Fueled by a commitment to build a bridge from research to practice, we’ve committed our working lives to developing teaching methods you can use, too. I’ve been at this for 33 years, showing up year after year, creating methods that work then sharing them at conferences, workshops, and trainings to teach and empower you. It lights us up to offer you ways to learn and feed your inner geek.
On March 12, 2020, when schools and the world went on lockdown, my first concern was for the staff, students, and families in my clinic, Architects For Learning. Within days, we got them hooked in and learning online (PHEW!). Then my attention turned to you.
I realized that far too many of you were alone and completely overwhelmed, thrown into the online instruction deep-end of the pool with no floaties. Zoom? How do you turn it on? It has a whiteboard???? Wait…how do I share my screen??!!
Jess and I launched our virtual Teacher’s Lounge with the goal of bringing people like you together and keeping your heads above the virtual waterline.
Thanks to Zoom, we had a way to come together from all corners of the Earth. We were just a few steps ahead of you with online teaching, but as we found our way, we helped you find your way.
Week after week, we all logged on in disarray. We learned, laughed, and lifted each other up. And we logged off re-inspired to be our best. Within a few weeks, we became a global community. A beautiful, hilarious, generous community of language geeks.
I did a lot of soul searching this past year and came to realize that my true passion is helping the kids with language learning challenges – the kids who will have a REALLY hard time in school and beyond if they don’t get the kind of instruction they need.
Together, we can change the lives of the next generation by teaching those students effectively.
The methods I created take the mystery out of what feels completely mysterious. With these methods, the students who don’t learn language intuitively can — no, they WILL — learn to listen, speak, read, write, think, and take charge of their lives. I promise you.
When students struggle with language, it impacts their entire lives. So much is at stake: their ability to form healthy relationships, hold a job, have a family, engage in their community, support their country, and shape our world.
When we live our passions — in all our wonderful language geekiness glory — we can make such a life changing difference. I’m so glad we’re doing this together!