About our Founder
Forty years ago, Barb Bechtel began a lifelong mission as an early childhood educator and advocate. In 1976, she began her career as a first year teacher, enthused to make a mark on the young minds entrusted to her. Even though she had been specifically trained as an early childhood educator, she quickly realized she was not prepared enough to manage her class.
“I did not have the tools to teach no matter how hard I tried to do my job,” she recalls. This led her to call on a veteran teacher for guidance. The mentorship she received dispelled a myth that sheer enthusiasm was enough to make a teacher. She was also able to reshape her understanding of the role she had in the process of teaching young children. Most importantly, she was able to reconfigure the classroom as a workable environment, model concrete management techniques and learned how to teach. All of her academic training was not able to do as much as this experience had done for her. She found that in order to teach with substance there must be hands on modeling of professional development training.
The Literacy League was founded as a remedy for the gaps and issues Barb identified over the last four decades as an early childhood educator, pre-school director, and advocate in the field. A program where exceptional mentors model classroom professional training opportunities is a necessity to elevate the quality of education, especially in early childhood classrooms.
Many conventions and seminars exist to fulfill requirements for state licensing; however, it is difficult to apply the information in the learning environment. Teachers attend these sessions, not just for mandated licensing requirements, but also in the hope to learn something “new” to share with their class. There is nothing more exciting to a teacher than a new book to read, a new song to sing or a new ditty to call children to sit on the rug and listen. It goes without saying, upon returning from the in-services, most teachers cannot apply the information or remember how to execute the activity. Learning, even for seasoned teachers, is much more effective if it is conducted on site, in the teacher’s learning environment, with their pupils and available materials.
The Literacy League offers the highest quality professional training opportunities for staff to fulfill annual in-service requirements. An observational approach to professional development allows staff to work together in co-teaching opportunities; master teachers observe teachers, followed by staff analysis and feedback. Feedback has shown us that teachers found themselves encouraged to improve their skills, and in turn, the quality of the learning environment for the children was elevated.
TLLeague training program is implemented by educators who have mastered the training and engagement process and who create a learning environment rich in opportunities to motivate children across all academic, social, and psycho-motor domains. Observation is a proven method for learning and applying information. With a mission to improve early childhood education through professional development opportunities, The Literacy League is committed to offering all children an enriched learning environment. Best of all, while the master educator is offering teachers an opportunity to learn new techniques and skills, the children are captivated by the wonder of a well-executed literacy lesson.
What Teachers Are Saying
Very engaging, creative approach~ a lot of information in a fun way~ Great use of visual aids, music/movement, and hands on materials~ Great continuation from last week’s circle~ Great balance of listening, sitting times, active/hands on activities.
Miss T, Aug 2015
I LOVED your circle time~ such great ideas. I can’t wait to try them with the kiddos.
Miss M, Aug 2015
Really enjoyed the up and down variety of activities. Want to learn other different techniques for group time. Transitions were awesome!
Miss R, Aug 2015
Hand holding with final song unifies~ very informative~ Thank you!
Miss V, Sept 2015
An excellent circle time, full of movements, funny things and energy- well done!
Miss S, Sept 2015
I wish I could keep you in my pocket! How do we get you back in the classrooms, especially my class?
Miss K, Jan 2016
Fabulous job, ladies. Children LOVE you so much and I LOVE your songs.
Miss J, Sept 2016
I like the music, what CD is it?
Miss C, Oct 2016
LOVED the way they interacted during circle time!
Miss D, Oct 2016
Love how stories, pictures, and songs are all connected together!
Miss T, 2017
Loved the pre-observation article~ very informative!
Miss K, Mar 2017
Great blending of sign language with song and counting.