I’ve been reading a lot about the journalist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and debate moderator Jim Lehrer since his death last week. To say this man led a big, impressive, and meaningful life seems to be an understatement. I mean how in the world do you have a schedule like Mr. Lehrer’s and turn out a novel every year? I can barely get out my weekly blog post!
According to Lehrer’s peers and colleagues, he was a man of high professional standards (harder and harder to find in the world of journalism these days). These standards include the following:
Do nothing I cannot defend.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.
There are more, but I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how these three standards might apply to my life and work as a Literacy Coach.
Do nothing I cannot defend: My work has to be grounded in research and be solidly focused on the child/children I am working with. My work with children, teachers, faculty, and families must be ethical, moral, and kind.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story: It is important for me to listen well to adults and children to try to understand all sides of a conversation. This will help me to determine strengths and needs, which will help me focus teaching and learning. Although I do have strong beliefs about what literacy approach works best for children, it’s important for me to be open to the hearing about other stories and approaches (There are a lot of different opinions swirling around at there at the moment.)
Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am: I’m lucky to work with smart, caring, and good people. I have studied literacy for many years, but I am a learner, not an expert, and I like it that way.
I wish I had spent more time listening to Jim Lehrer’s reporting. I can see that he has a lot to teach me.