Our Philosophy


Our beliefs about teaching and learning stem from over two decades of study, practice, and reflection. We are guided by the work of Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Nancie Atwell, Ralph Fletcher, Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, and other educators dedicated to empowering young people through literacy.


Powerful Choices supports schools in building and realizing a vision for literacy appropriate to a democratic society.  We believe teachers and students reach the highest levels of achievement when schools prepare them to make strong choices and then trust them to increasingly guide their own work.

To participate fully in today's world, students must become independent thinkers, learners, and workers. These qualities are developed when teachers play the role of expert-mentors: sharing how reading, writing, thinking, and talking have enhanced their own lives; demonstrating how they engage in these activities themselves; and guiding students through opportunities to practice, reflect, incorporate feedback, share, and celebrate.

All students deserve to read, write, think, and talk for the same authentic purposes that people have throughout the ages:  to enrich our lives by connecting us with others, exploring who we are and who we want to become,  understanding the world we live in,  and figuring out the roles we want to play in that world.

The Common Core State Standards provide teachers the opportunity to reclaim their roles as professionals who use deep knowledge of content, methodology, materials, and individual students to make purposeful choices in their classrooms each day.  We invite you to join us in our work to prepare citizens who will participate actively and thoughtfully in our democracy; people who see themselves as agents of change in their own lives, in their school communities, and in our world.