Team A to Z Literacy Movement

by Betty Trummel

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There is something very special about being part of a team, whether that team is comprised of 2, 4, 10 or more people.  It’s knowing that you are part of a goal together, sharing an experience – and along with that facing challenges and celebrations.

The two weeks in Zambia was a tremendous learning and teaching experience for me.  In addition to working with the A to Z team, I was rewarded through our partnerships with teachers at both School of Hope and Shine Zambia Reading Academy.  Strong commitment to helping vulnerable children in Zambia was the common theme, always on the minds of not only our group, but with every teacher we met along the way.

Our work reminds me of how many lives teachers touch with our profession, whether it’s in a formal classroom situation, or informal teaching in community groups, volunteering to teach at home or abroad.  So many children and adults need good role models and mentors.  Good educators continue to develop professionally throughout their career…emerging teachers, seasoned veterans.  Remembering to take time to learn and challenge ourselves to grow is critical, and this doesn’t mean just an inservice program at school….it means thinking and doing professional activities outside of your school district, to broaden your horizons.

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With over 67 years of teaching experience on our A to Z team (35 years of those are mine!) we know the importance of literacy as it threads its way through the curriculum….connecting science, social studies, math, reading, and writing.  Reading opens doors to learning, always, and promoting literacy for all age groups is integral to success.

Staring down the start of the final school year of my career, beginning in August, I know that I will never stop teaching; not in my actions and my heart.  It’s part of who I am…who I will always be.  Opportunities like working with the A to Z Literacy Movement team are what motivate me to keep learning, teaching and connecting with the world.

The bonhomie (ba na ME) of strangers uniting in education is unmatched when you open your heart and mind.  Thanks Mal and team A to Z for an unparalleled experience.  Thanks teachers at School of Hope and Shine Zambia Reading Academy for the same.  You have all taught me a lot in such a short time.  I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.

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