Sue Lynn with Bartlett City Schools has been named the Coach of the Month for March by the TN Read to be Ready program.
Lynn’s career as an educator began with six years at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis — a private all boys’ school — where she taught pre-K, kindergarten and second grade.
Next came 17 years in the public school system in Shelby County as an educator at Farmington Elementary School in Germantown.
While a part of the Farmington family, she taught kindergarten and grades one, three and four.
She also had the honor of being a mentoring coach for new teachers. I “retired” at the end of the 2015-16 school year.
At the beginning of the current school year (2016-17), Lynn began her 120-day position with Bartlett City Schools, as their Read to Be Ready coach, based at Ellendale Elementary School.
“It is a dream position because it fulfills my passions for both reading instruction and mentoring teachers,” she said.
Favorite Quotes: I couldn’t pick just one favorite quote, so I chose the top two that best reflect my experiences as a member of the Read to Be Ready network:
“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke
“If you want kids to want to read then read amazing books aloud EVERY single day.” – Simply Inspired Teaching blog by Kari Yates
Favorite Coaching Story: My favorite story thus far took place this past January in a second grade classroom. The class discussion began as designed in the lesson plan–comparing the characters of Molly from Molly’s Pilgrim and Ruby from The Story of Ruby Bridges.
What did not go as planned was the depth of discussion led by the students into where both characters’ fathers had worked (relevant to major events in their families’ lives and their need to move from one city to another), and into whether Molly’s last name was ever given in Molly’s Pilgrim (which was a conversation spurred by a single student carefully reading additional information about this book and discovering its connection to a real woman named Molly).
The lesson plan was built upon challenging the students in their understanding of two characters from two different texts. This would pass as rigor. Where the students then took the lesson, increased the rigor through a deeper understanding of what they had read, and through their own engaging student leadership.
Even more powerful to me was the realization that, through the use of read aloud discussions, these students had been provided with the opportunity to develop and practice the skills required of civil debate. What I witnessed was students sharing not only their own personal opinions but listening to and considering the thoughts of others.
The students ‘hijacked’ the lesson and took it to a higher level, and they did it enthusiastically and with collaboration, all because of two books they had read – powerful.
Educational Background: B.A. Social Work: University of Memphis M.A. in Teaching: University of Memphis