Turning litigious situations in to reading reform initiatives (with Mary Saghafi and Shannon Betts)

Teacher preparation programs should equip reading teachers with the knowledge they need to provide explicit intervention for students who have dyslexia or other disabilities. 

But what if they don’t? 

Unfortunately, this situation is quite common. 

That’s why I invited Mary Saghafi and Shannon Betts from the Reading Teachers’ Lounge Podcast to episode 165 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to talk about how reading specialists and other service providers can emerge as literacy leaders; whether it be in their current job or within a career transition. 

The Reading Teachers’ Lounge is a podcast where listeners can eavesdrop on professional conversations between elementary reading teachers. Shannon and Mary are passionate about literacy and strive to find strategies to reach all learners. Shannon and Mary are neighbors who realized they were “literacy soul sisters” at a dinner in their Atlanta Neighborhood. Once they started chatting about reading, they haven’t really stopped. Shannon is currently teaching part time as a reading resource teacher while she continues to create teaching materials on Teachers Pay Teachers and Boom Learning. Mary is a private tutor and dyslexia advocate. They began our podcast in 2018 and are currently finishing their sixth season.

In this conversation, we share:

✅How a litigious situation turned into a reading reform initiative and inspired Mary to make a career pivot.

✅When there’s conflict between schools and parents; should you be a united front with your school team, even if you resonate more with the parent’s point of view? 

✅The parent advocacy perspective: How parents can advocate for their kids AND the school staff at the same time. 

✅Should schools be using the “dyslexia” label (and what do the laws require vs. allow)? 

✅Will voicing your opinion have a negative impact on your career (plus Shannon’s experience with being the squeaky wheel on her team)? 

You can find Shannon’s Teachers Pay Teachers store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Rdng, and her Boom Learning resources here: https://wow.boomlearning.com/author/rdng?collection=Decks&sort=publishDate&order=-1

Connect with Shannon and Mary on their Patreon community for literacy professionals here: https://www.patreon.com/readingteacherslounge

Follow the Reading Teacher’s Lounge Podcast on Instagram @readingteacherslounge https://www.instagram.com/readingteacherslounge/, on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/readingteacherslounge, or on their podcast website here: https://www.readingteacherslounge.com/podcast-home

Listen to the Reading Teacher’s Lounge Season 6, Episode 13 (Link here: https://www.readingteacherslounge.com/season-6-episodes/s6-e-13-the-intersection-of-speech-reading-and-language)  where I was a guest, and we discussed the partnership between speech-language pathologists and reading teachers here.

I mentioned the following resources in this episode:
EP 141: No, kids do not learn to read and write naturally with (with Melanie Brethour) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-141-no-kids-do-not-learn-to-read-and-write-naturally-with-melanie-brethour/

EP 159: Co-morbidities and Differential Diagnosis (ADHD, DLD, Dyslexia) Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-159-comorbidities-and-differential-diagnosis-adhd-dld-dyslexia/

Williams, V. (2023) Letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on the use of “Developmental Language Disorder” for special education eligibility. Office of Special Education Programs. Retrieved from: https://www.asha.org/siteassets/advocacy/comments/OSEP-Response-Letter-to-ASHA-on-DLD-5.30.23.pdf

Yudin, M. K. (2015). Letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on the use of “Dyslexia” for special education eligibility. Office of Special Education Programs. Retrieved from: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/files/policy_speced_guid_idea_memosdcltrs_guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015.pdf

In this episode, I mention Language Therapy Advance Foundations, my program that helps SLPs create a system for language therapy. You can learn more about Language Therapy Advance Foundations here: https://drkarenspeech.com/languagetherapy/

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Turning litigious situations in to reading reform initiatives (with Mary Saghafi and Shannon Betts)