Les Burns: Responsive Teaching

Les Burns is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Kentucky and a former high school English language arts teacher in rural and suburban Kansas. He is the Program Chair of English Education for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Les served as the chief curriculum consultant for the state of Kentucky’s P-12 Model Curriculum Framework for all content areas and grade levels, which was awarded the John I. Wilson National Award for Innovation in Education in 2010. He is a winner of the Edward B. Fry Book Award for Empowering Struggling Readers in 2011 for the advancement of knowledge, research, and intellectual risk-taking in the field of literacy, and served as the Higher Education Representative for English language arts in Kentucky’s Teacher Leader Network, which developed the standards and learning targets for teaching P-12 language arts in classrooms throughout Kentucky.

“What can we do as teachers to be responsive to who our students are, what they want, and what they will do in their futures?”

In this episode you will learn about Les Burns, responsive teaching, and so much more.

Les shares:

  • How he transformed his students into readers on the high-school level
  • Why co-collaboration and co-construction of the curriculum with students is so important
  • Why getting to know who you students are is the best data you can collect
  • What he did to help his students read 27 books in a year
  • How responsive teaching can change your classroom and activate learning
  • How to manage a responsive classroom and create, what Les calls, primary knowers
  • How to develop student relationships by “embracing the cheese”
  • What Les did to go from no classroom library to a 1,500 volume library
  • How to go from triage teaching to responsive teaching
  • The 6 steps you can take to incorporate responsive teaching into your classroom
  • Why being a voracious reader is essential to good teaching
  • The way in which handwriting is so important to student development

Get your copy of Les’ new book, Teach on Purpose! Responsive Teaching for Student Success.

Follow Les on Twitter.