I have many long-time clients who have been implementing their reading programs for over 6 years…and they’re still working on depth.

Deep program implementation comes from a complete mastery over several important areas:


  •     Classroom organization
  •     Preparation and planning
  •     Instructional delivery
  •     Collaboration with the leadership, coach and colleagues

I believe that one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves during long-term program implementation is this: What is the evidence that we are an XYZ school? 

In other words – do we look like any other school with any other program, or do we have obvious maturity and depth in the above four areas?  Trust me, it is possible to be implementing something new and have literally little to no evidence that you are implementing it – that’s not a good thing and surely doesn’t lead to results!

I was working with a client this year and they had been implementing a new language arts program and when we went to view the classrooms, overall there was little evidence that they had adopted their program!

The instruction, the management and the engagement looks pretty much as it had prior to the implementation. So, in this case, we had to admit that there was little to no evidence that they were implementing the program – the implementation indicators were not there, unfortunately.

The problem with that?  The scores won’t change if the instruction doesn’t look different.  They need to be using the new materials differently in order to get better results with the kids – just changing the materials won’t work!

Depth looks like what Joyce and Showers call “Exerting Executive Control” – we know what is going on, have engineered every step of the students’ day and what they will and should be able to produce because of the lesson and contingency plans if things don’t go as planned.

What areas of your reading/literacy work lack depth?  Talk to me by leaving a comment below…we can help!