Author Archives: Janice O'Connor

Year in Review

As 2019 comes to an end, we not only close the books on another year of coast-to-coast literacy instruction, we complete another decade of providing teachers with the skills and knowledge to transform the lives of students of all ages through literacy. Individually and collectively, Wilson educators continue making a positive and significant impact in schools and districts throughout the country. As knowledge and awareness about dyslexia and the acquisition of reading skills continue to expand in the U.S. and internationally, there is an ever-increasing demand for effective, evidence-ba [...]

Transformative Teaching

Recently nicknamed Kindness, USA, Gilbert, AZ, is noted as one of the fastest growing communities in the country. As the ever-expanding town in the Phoenix suburbs prepares for its centennial celebration in 2020, the Gilbert Unified School District is also marking 15 years as a Wilson district. In the mid-2000s, Gilbert educators paid heed to recommendations regarding the science of reading: All early learners, particularly those showing signs of reading difficulty, benefit from explicit, structured literacy instruction to develop foundational literacy skills that are crucial fo [...]

Unlocking Opportunities

Eight years ago, Ohio teacher Angela Haning made a binding promise to her first class of students. The fifth graders made her pinkie swear she would attend their high school graduation in 2019. When they reunited at the ceremony this past spring to celebrate, Angie and her former students laughed, shed a few tears, and shared what theyve learned over the years. While the graduates were busy acquiring knowledge and skills in preparation for a new chapter in their lives, Angie, a middle school English Language Arts teacher, was doing the same. Earlier this year, she added Wilson® Dysl [...]

With Knowledge, Wisdom

For someone who stumbled into teaching by accident, Nelda Reyes certainly landed on her feet, then kept on going. Now entering her twenty-third year as a teacher, Nelda recently added Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T.) to her professional credentials. A dyslexia interventionist in San Marcos, TX, Nelda became Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level II Certified earlier this year, just as her practicum student, Jonathan, wrapped up Step 12 of the intensive reading intervention program. As an undergraduate studying speech communication disorders, Nelda said she became intrigued by the scie [...]

Virtual Implementation Support

Recognizing that limited time and distance are barriers to in-person sessions for many, Wilson is now offering a new service of live interactive support to districts no matter where they are located. Called Virtual Implementation Support (V.I.S.), this professional learning is geared toward teachers who are new to Fundations® or Just Words® and is delivered over the course of a school year by an Instructional Development Specialist. The online format is well-matched for a variety of schools and districts, including rural districts looking for professional learning and large urban districts [...]

Step Ahead, Together

This summers annual meeting of Wilson® Credentialed Trainers provided an opportunity for educators from 25 states to meaningfully connect with peers, members of the Wilson Fidelity Team, and co-founders Barbara and Ed Wilson. More than 150 Trainers, Literacy Specialists, and Literacy Advisors who instruct and mentor fellow teachers in the Wilson Reading System®  (WRS) in public school districts, private schools, independent reading centers, and other educational settings gathered July 8-9 in Portsmouth, NH, to reflect on the past year of instruction and prepare for the upcoming schoo [...]

Ainsley’s Advantage

If you asked Ainsley Proctor when she was in elementary school what she thought about her dyslexia, she likely would have responded with a resounding Ugh! Today, however, the question elicits a passionate response from the poised dyslexia advocate, now entering her junior year in high school. Growing up, I viewed dyslexia as a disadvantage. Every day I would say, I wish I never had this stupid thing. Now I wouldnt change my dyslexia for the world, Ainsley shared last fall during the International Dyslexia Associations (IDA) annual conference, where she was awarded the [...]

Father, Son, and Dyslexia

As a child growing up in Colorado, Steve G. found learning to read a struggle and tutoring lessons a bore. Decades later, given his history and the genetic nature of dyslexia, he wasnt surprised when one of his three sons showed similar reading difficulties in school. What did amaze him was the night and day difference in his son Liams reading scores and confidence level following one year of multisensory structured literacy instruction with a Wilson Reading System® certified teacher. Back in the 70s, the technique for correcting this was once a week I went to a ladys house [...]

Shared Values

The relationship between Wilson Language Training (WLT) and Becker College spans decades. Wilson's first executive director, Janet O'Connor, served as an adjunct professor of early childhood education at Becker, which has campuses in Worcester and Leicester, MA. In 2010, WLT Co-founders Barbara and Ed Wilson were each awarded an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters from the college for their work providing multisensory structured literacy instruction to teachers and students across the country. Most recently, Ed was appointed to Becker's 15-member Board of Trustees. For their commitment to l [...]