As a superintendent of a public school district who has a strong background in curriculum, I quickly recognized, when visiting my district’s primary classrooms, that my well-meaning teachers needed support to strengthen their writing instruction. With the rigorous expectations which the Common Core Standards demand of teachers and students, both my Curriculum Supervisor and I agreed that our teachers needed “a jumpstart” to move them from teaching traditional writing lessons to growing young students to successfully compose both fiction and non-fiction pieces. Margaret Langer provided our district’s teachers with exactly that type of “jumpstart”. By sharing her first hand experiences and the lessons/units she has developed from teaching primary students (both students with and without disabilities), she was able to inspire our district teachers to follow her lead and truly transform their teaching instruction. Today, our primary students are composing every day after using oral language, pictures and the guidance of their teachers to lead them to write a clear and engaging message to their readers. There is no doubt that Margie Langer’s skilled guidance and understanding of both student and adult learning has contributed to the success our teachers and students are reaching each and every day in our district’s classrooms. Now, we believe we can sustain the gains made from Margaret Langer’s work in writing instruction through the support of our district Curriculum Supervisor.
I am grateful our district had the ability to take advantage of Margaret Langer’s unique skills as a practicing writing teacher, which has benefited our district’s young student writers and their teachers!
Patricia L. Haney
Logan Township School District
Logan Township, New Jersey