Before embarking on my research project back in September, I knew I wanted to focus on finding a way to help our struggling primary students who entered school already far behind their classmates in early literacy skills. My research study developed into a parent led literacy program for Kindergarten students. After all the hard work of doing the research and developing a program for families to follow, I was thrilled to discover a positive relationship between time spent doing the program and student improvement in letter-sound fluency! I now knew that a parent led intervention program focused on letter-sound knowledge could positively affect intensive students’ letter-sound fluency. However, what I discovered along the way put a damper on my celebrations. I learned that even though the program seemed to have a positive effect, I couldn’t get everyone to participate regularly enough to help their children. It reminded me of medication. You can give patients the medication, but you can’t make them swallow the pills. Although that realization was a bit disheartening, it reminded me about why I became a teacher in the first place. I became a teacher to work with children. I had previously been a health educator for low-income pregnant women for many years and after a similar realization described above, I decided that I really wanted to work with children directly.
With all this in mind, my next steps will still focus on these students and helping them improve their early literacy skills. Considering that my position as an Academic Specialist is not directly with students or parents, but more with teachers, here are the questions that will guide these next steps: