Identifying and understanding your own compelling why allows for your personal beliefs about reading to emerge. Once your individual beliefs surface, shared beliefs about reading can be developed. To ensure that we continue to develop proficient readers, it is important that the staff have shared beliefs. Instructional leaders play a pivotal role in developing and examining shared beliefs.
As Regie Routman states, “… without shared beliefs that are articulated and applied schoolwide through practices that support those beliefs, we are likely to end up frustrated and treading water” (2014, p. 85). If we are truly wanting to ensure that research based and effective instructional practices are occurring, then we need to ensure beliefs are derived from “valid and reliable research, growing knowledge, and
experiences” (2014, p. 91).
Shared beliefs, in 13 Parameters, A Literacy Leadership Toolkit Facilitation Guide, would provide:
• a foundation for focused work;
• a renewed emphasis on student success; and
• a renewed emphasis on teacher success.
(York Region District School Board et al., 2009, p. 25)
What are beliefs?
Beliefs are our assumptions and convictions that are held to be true; they ground our understanding and reflect what we value. What we believe guides our practice; therefore we could say that “Practices are our beliefs in action” (Wallis as cited in Routman, 2014, p. 85). Since beliefs drive teacher practice, it is important that teachers are aware of their beliefs as they are influential in ensuring high-impact teaching.