Season 6, Episode 5

Leading with the head and the heart: Enacting lasting literacy change, with Mitchell Brookins

Equal parts educational leader, educator, and life-long learner of reading science, Mitchell Brookins has leveraged his passion and dedication to affect change in the lives of the students and teachers he works with, as well as the many educators he has inspired online. In this episode, he opens up about the emotional journey he took—from realizing everything he’d been doing wasn’t working and that he’d never actually learned how to teach kids to read, to seeking out reading research and encountering the Science of Reading—a path that brought unparalleled transformation and success to his schools. Mitchell talks about how he is still learning and keeping students at the forefront of what he does every day, ending on a powerful story of a student who changed his life forever.

Meet our guest(s):

Mitchell Brookins

Mitchell Brookins is a Director of Content with Leading Educators. At heart, he is a teacher first, and has spent years studying, exploring, and refining his practices to yield student learning. From his National Board Certification to studying as a doctoral student of Educational Administration, Brookins understands the interconnectedness between teaching and learning. He has been a teacher; district leader of RTI and literacy; school administrator; consultant with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; instructional coach with EdConnective; and professional development facilitator of ELA, math, and Leadership Institutes with UnboundEd.

Meet our host, Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is the Chief Academic Officer of Elementary Humanities at Amplify, and the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast. Her career has been focused on creating high-quality learning environments using evidence-based practices. Susan is a mom of four, a grandma of four, a world traveler, and a collector of stories.

As the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast, Susan explores the increasing body of scientific research around how reading is best taught. As a former classroom teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer, Susan is dedicated to turning theory into best practices that educators can put right to use in the classroom, and to showcasing national models of reading instruction excellence.


“My calling is so that children can one day stand on their own without scaffolds, that children will one day reap the benefits that literacy is liberty, that children will one day be able to teach someone else the power that only literacy can bring.” —Mitchell Brookins

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