Success is a Journey Towards Mastery: How does RA build Faculty Leaders?

 Shawn Fredericking, Yuba College (Language Arts)

As a member of the Reading Apprenticeship Project Community, I have participated in two winter conferences, a six-week online course, a two day workshop (held at our college campus), LINKS V in Fresno (as a presenter), and the summer 2012 Leadership Community of Practice.  I also had the opportunity to co-facilitate a one day Reading Apprenticeship workshop at Diablo Valley College this fall.  All of these activities have been extremely meaningful, giving me myriad immediately applicable resources and valuable learning experiences.

Being involved in the Reading Apprenticeship Project has afforded me:

  • Access to habits of mind and practices that help me to support my students in reading and learning, thereby increasing student academic success
  • Tools to help me assess my teaching methodologies
  • Tools to help me assess the learning of students in my classrooms
  • Written materials and books to support me in becoming a more effective teacher and learner
  • Learning experiences and ongoing support for my Reading Apprenticeship leadership endeavors, which will be extremely valuable in Yuba College’s quest to increase student success
  • Significant support for several English faculty members (including myself) who are in the process of accelerating our developmental English sequence, which calls for increased academic challenges and increased student support
  • Connection to and support from like-minded colleagues throughout California

I have used the above resources to:

  • Infuse my curriculum with the Reading Apprenticeship Framework, which demystifies effective academic reading processes for my students
  • Support other faculty at my college in their RA endeavors through both formal meetings (FIGS) and informal conversations
  • Present the RA framework to language arts tutors and help them to use the framework in their work with students
  • Support (both with small groups and individuals) students who come into our Writing and Language Development Center

Because of 3CSN, I have not only become a more effective teacher, but I am also learning how to make a difference as a leader. I am learning how to help my colleagues think about and implement evidence-based methodologies and habits of mind that will increase student success.

I have learned that “success” is a never-ending, recursive journey—of perpetual reflection and adjustment—toward mastery. Daniel H. Pink describes mastery as “the desire to get better and better at something that matters” but also “an asymptote toward which [we are] for ever approaching without ever quite reaching it.” So, my work with 3CSN has confirmed that “success” is a journey toward mastery, not an end point.

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