Susi Long began her career as an elementary school teacher in multiage as well as single grade level classrooms. For the past nine years, she has been a faculty member in Language & Literacy and Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina.
Since 1999, she has worked with cohorts of literacy coaches in the South Carolina Reading Initiative (SCRI). Her publications focus on early literacy, learning in culturally and linguistically diverse schools and communities, and teacher study groups (see links on this website). She most recently worked with seven graduates of USC’s preservice program to study the barriers and support encountered by new teachers as they work to bring visions of great teaching to life. Their book–Tensions and Triumphs (NCTE, 2006)–tells stories from the first six years of teaching and provides advice for administrators, mentors, university faculty, and new teachers.
View Susi Long's Resume/Vita, Publications and Workshops.
To request NCTE Professional Development Services, complete the Online Request Form, call 800-369-6283 or email us today!
- Readers and Writing in the PreK-3 classroom
- Where’s the Phonics (and other stuff people always ask you)?
- Working with the Common Core Standards
- Professional Study Groups: Structures and Strategies for teachers and administrators
- Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching
- English Language Learners: Embracing Multiple Languages in PreK and Elementary Classrooms
Purchase a comprehensive professional development package that includes a one-day workshop with Susi Long (on a topic of your choice) AND 20 copies of Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades PreK-2!
Cost: $2,900 plus travel costs.
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*Other packages/quantities are available. Contact us to learn more!
Constructing Classrooms to Support Young Readers and Writers (preK, K, 1st–3rd grade)
Audiences: PreK, kindergarten (and their teaching assistants), first–third grade teachers, and administrators. These sessions can be 1-day sessins but they are most helpful when they are multiple day experiences. They can be developed to focus on audiences of teachers in multiage classrooms, four- and five-year-old kindergartens, the primary grades, or a combination of all of the above.
In these workshops, Susi works with teachers and administrators to envision classroom structures and strategies that build on what we know about young children as readers and writers. Engaging in the practices themselves, teachers will explore the teaching of skills and strategies in the context of purposeful literacy events as well as ways to articulate the power of their teaching to others. Examples of practices explored include: using children’s names, language from environmental print, songs and poems, language from favorite predictable books, written conversations, authentic morning messages, writing from the heart, and noticing language in the world around them—to support children in learning about reading and writing as meaning-making processes and as contexts in which they also develop understandings about parts of language and language structures.
Where’s the Phonics (and other stuff people always ask you)?: Understanding and Articulating Children’s Learning Within Semantically-Rich Classrooms
Audiences: Classroom teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators in schools that serve children in preK, kindergarten through third grade classrooms. These workshops can focus on audiences of teachers in multiage classrooms, four- and five-year-old kindergartens, the primary grades, or a combination of all of the above.
In a day when outside pressures make the articulation of what we do and why we do it even more important, this workshop engages teachers and administrators directly in practices that support children as thoughtful literacy users and learners while demonstrating how specific skills and strategies are learned in the context of those experiences. Together, we will explore and articulate strategies for building a dynamic classroom environment in which children learn about letters and sounds and other aspects of language structures as a part of the intentional yet seamless flow of instruction.
Inspirational Teaching in a Time of Common Core Standards
Susi and preK-to-third grade teachers share specific instructional strategies used to sustain innovative teaching while addressing Common Core State Standards. Emphasizing the importance of using standards as resources not onstraints, these presentations - tailored to the needs of each audience - focus on issues and ideas such as: culturally relevant reading and writing practices, celebrating literacies in multilingual settings, building practice from students' interests, text selection and development in diverse communities, and writing workshop that embraces the mosaic of diverse classrooms.
Developing & Maintaining Professional Study Groups: Structures & Strategies
Audiences: Teachers, Administrators, Literacy Coaches
In this workshop, Susi will share stories from her work with literacy coaches and classroom teachers who have developed and maintained regular professional study groups in their schools. Structures and strategies will be explored in support of study groups as places for teachers and administrators to discuss professional literature, plan for experimentation with new ideas, share classroom stories and artifacts, and receive feedback from one another. Susi builds from the words of one of her favorite teachers, Donna Jarvis, who said, “The day I want to stop learning, I hope someone tells me it’s time to call it a career.”
“They Come From Brilliance”: Home and Community Language and Literacies and Implications for Learning in the Lives of All Children
Audiences: K-12 Teachers, Parents, and School and District Administrators
(Sessions can be designed for groups that include a variety of educational stakeholders or that focus on one group of educators; sessions can also be developed for teacher/parent groups in consultation with Susi)
This session begins with Lisa Delpit’s remarkable line, “What happens . . . when we convince them that they come from brilliance?” (The Skin That We Speak, p. 46) and continues by sharing stories from teachers who have moved beyond their own cultural comfort zones to get to know children and families in new ways, upturning stereotypes and invalidating a deficit perspective by looking at children and families for what they know, can do, care about, and cherish. From this foundation, we work to build curriculum in specific ways that draws on the resources of a richly diverse society as foundational to thoughtful literacy experiences for all children. In this workshop, Susi shares stories but also actively involves participants in engagements to clarify key points and to provide starting points for exploring home and community literacies, and funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) with children and families in their own schools.
Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching: Finding Voice, Support, and Joy
Audiences: Tailored to each audience, this workshop/presentation can be conducted for a range of educational stakeholders (new and experienced teachers, administrators, mentors, job-seekers, directors of induction programs, and new teachers) or sessions can be developed for individual groups (just new teachers, just administrators, just mentors, etc).
Some examples of workshop variations include:
- Supporting New Teachers: A Workshop for School and District Administrators
- Hanging On to the Vision: A Workshop for New Teachers and Their Colleagues
- Seeking Jobs and Sustaining Your Vision: A Workshop for Prospective Teachers
- Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching: A Workshop for New Teachers, Their Colleagues, and Administrators
Drawing from their book, Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching (NCTE, 2006), Susi and one or more members of her group of co-authors (teacher-researchers who studied their first six years of teaching - Ami Abramson, April Boone, Carly Borchelt, Robbie Kalish, Erin Miller, Julie Parks, and Carmen Tisdale) share real world stories about the barriers and the support they found in bringing their visions of great teaching to life. For new teachers this workshop lets them know that they are not alone and that, even when they feel the least empowered, they are making a difference. Stories from new teachers include: The Being Perfect Disease, Juggling Work and Life, Struggling to Engage Every Child, The Love-Hate Relationship With Professional Books, and Wanting to Fit In, among many others. For job seekers, the workshop provides advice to use as they seek jobs and engage in job interviews. Workshops also provide a wealth of specific suggestions for school and district administrators, mentors and colleagues of new teachers, and university faculty to support new teachers.
English Language Learners: Embracing Multiple Languages in PreK and Elementary Classrooms
Audiences: Teachers, administrators and/or parents
In this workshop, Susi works with teachers to consider the construction of classrooms that embrace multiple languges spoken by children and families as rich resources to promote the learning of all students.