At Burkins & Yaris, our work with schools and school districts begins by discussing your literacy priorities and what we can do to ensure that you reach your goals. Once we collaborate with you to determine your professional learning priorities, we work within your budget to design professional learning plans that include:
Literacy Audits: Schools and districts often wonder where to begin when they initiate substantive literacy reform. We can help by visiting schools, reviewing curricula and test data, and engaging in conversations with teachers and literacy leaders. We provide schools with a written report, which includes a summary of their strengths, needs, and next recommended steps.
Teacher Workshops: Our teacher workshops are steeped in theory and research about the latest innovations in reading and writing instruction. With a deep understanding of literacy theory and its practical application in the classroom, we understand how to help teachers learn and grow in their practice. Our workshops engage teachers with hands-on activities, videos, and information that support deep reflection and ongoing dialogue. We tailor the length and breadth of our programs to fit the unique literacy needs of your district.
On-Site Demonstration Lessons: Professional learning workshops are the first step in informing and affecting change in classroom reading and writing instruction. Classroom demonstrations provide teachers opportunities to see instructional theory in action, which helps them understand how the new information they are learning can work for their students. We consider these in-class, follow-up demonstrations a key component of supporting teachers as they work to implement new innovations in literacy instruction.
Classroom Coaching: Once teachers have learned new theories and observed an expert in action, it is important that teachers try out new strategies and approaches on their own. Research shows that teachers who work with coaches are more than ten times as likely to actually use the strategies they learn in workshops (Joyce & Showers, 2002). Coaching allows teachers to try out new ideas with the safety of knowing that an expert is there to provide the feedback they need to fully understand the ways their practice shapes student learning.
Ongoing, Job-embedded Professional Learning: With an ongoing, professional learning collaboration, teachers receive the benefit of regular and varied learning contexts. With this model, Burkins & Yaris work at a school monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly over the course of a year, offering professional learning that combines literacy audits, short workshops, meetings with grade-level teams, classroom demonstrations, and observation cycles with teacher feedback.
Curriculum Implementation/Development/Alignment: We offer support for all things related to curricula, from advice on selecting a literacy program to aligning current materials to standards, to working closely with teachers as they translate purchased programs into classroom implementation. We also write curricula with or for teachers.