“A difficulty is not the sign of a flaw or an incapacity in us – it is an indication that we need to make a change.  It’s not about who we are; it’s about what we need to adjust.”             Tom Newkirk

A piece of my work as a Literacy Specialist/Interventionist is to push-in to all the kindergarten classrooms twice a week for Reader’s Workshop.  Each week, I have a planning time with each of the teachers.  During this time, we share the big work, and the little work, that is going on for the class and each child in the class.  We work together to create guided reading groups and strategy groups.  We talk and plan for all the pieces involved in growing each reader and writer.  We work together to purposefully meet the needs of all the kindergarteners in our school.

Along the way, we are always assessing.  We are assessing through eyes wide open observation, we are assessing through conversation, we are assessing through running records, we are assessing through encoding, and of course we are assessing with actual assessments.

Across classrooms, last week, we were knee deep in assessments.  As we collected information on each child through these assessment, a few readers were still striving towards the expected independence.   Their F&P’s showed developing habits, and some strong skills but not quite strong enough, yet.  We agreed that this information, did not, in any way, show a sign of their “incapacity” to teach or the child’s “flaw” or “incapacity” to learn. What it did show us was that we need to collaborate, create and plan our adjustments to meet their needs.  This week, we will continue our assessments, we will continue our planning for teaching and learning.

Our work as teachers is a shared responsibility, and sometimes, those conversations are what we need to remind ourselves that neither we, nor them, or flawed or incapable, but that we can always adjust.

9 thoughts on “Adjust”

  1. The best kind of wrench
    is the adjustable kind,
    the one where you don’t know
    what it is you’ll actually need
    until you’re knee-deep inside the problem
    with only hints of a solution –
    smooth fingers slipping
    over roughed-out grooves,
    you try and try and try and try
    until you find the right size
    to adjust to the situation, and then
    turn it right

    – Kevin, poem as comment

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think this is the key to teaching…and a lot of other things. I’m reading The Undoing Project, a book about two people who examined how we make decisions. They might add to this that it’s really important that we adjust to the situation and the person, rather than adjust our narrative to justify or explain the results (those assessments). I think sometimes our brains find that kind of adjustment too easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post of yours today! I have been thinking about the word capacity a lot in the last few days. Obviously, you’ve thought of incapacity. I love how positive your post is and the NONE of you have chalked up student progress o an incapacity to learn or teachers to an incapacity to teach! Adjustment is key and through your insightfulness, you will all do just that and everyone will succeed!


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