Sue SewarsEpisode One: Sue Sears: In this episode, I had the honor to speak with Sue Sears, Professor of Special Education at California State University, Northridge. During our chat, Dr. Sears underscores the fact that great instruction works! She also unpacks her wisdom regarding adolescent literacy, the powerful impact the CALI Reads program is having on teams of teachers involved in the grant as they work to move the needle for middle school students struggling with reading. Dr. Sears also highlights the transformative tool WordBuilder, which she and her team worked to design with the unique needs of struggling students in mind. It was a privilege to pick her brain and you will be truly riveted by her work, experience, and impact in the area of adolescent literacy.


Episode Two: Lindsey Young: In this episode, I had the honor to speak with Lindsay young, instructional coach, teacher, and leader in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During our discussion, Mrs. Young shared the details of her impressive devotion to serving students with special needs and her work with WordBuilder. I had previously had the privilege to see Mrs. Young teach, and was thus eager to pick her brain about how she was able to achieve such remarkable clarity in her high-impact reading instruction. It was also so wonderful to dig deeper into her work with CALI Reads and her use of the WordBuilder app. I had a blast listening to her wisdom and her reminder that in our work with students we must always praise effort, not expertise.


Deborah ReedEpisode Three: Deborah Reed: In this episode, I had the honor to speak with Deborah Reed, who currently directs the Iowa Reading Research Center at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include literacy instruction, intervention, and assessment. I have long admired Dr. Reed through her leadership in the CALI Reads grant. During our chat, I was deeply touched by her story about her student Kurt. She states that every teacher has a Kurt and I was reminded of mine. Through our discussion, she unpacks a number of critical aspects of how to effectuate powerful change in adolescent literacy. As usual, I left our time together truly inspired.