TAP Master Teacher Joni Readout is keenly focused on improving both instructional practices and student achievement at Central Decatur Junior-Senior High School. As part of the school’s implementation of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement, Readout plans and leads “clusters”: weekly professional learning meetings in which she shares effective teaching strategies she has researched and field-tested in the classroom, across multiple subjects. By studying the results of Readout’s field tests, teachers learn what worked with students (and what didn’t) before using the strategies in their own classes. Readout also worked with math teachers to study, develop and launch standards-based grading practices, an approach she is now introducing for other content areas. She is a fixture in the classrooms despite the fact that she doesn’t have her own, jumping in to do whatever is needed: observing, modeling, team-teaching, pulling small groups or working with individual students.
Supported and managed by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, the TAP System is a comprehensive educator effectiveness model that provides opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, educator evaluation and performance-based compensation for educators; Central Decatur CSD adopted it in 2012. Readout was a mentor teacher at the elementary school before moving to Central Decatur Junior-Senior High, where she now serves as a master teacher. The small, rural school has shown consistent growth in student achievement.
Readout’s leadership role has extended beyond school walls. She is a member of the district’s TAP Advisory Board and takes a lead role when other Iowa districts send teams to the Junior-Senior High School to learn from the district’s experiences implementing the initiative. Central Decatur CSD was a model for the Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation System (TLC).
Readout has spoken about teacher leadership to the School Administrators of Iowa and has also presented about effective teacher evaluation strategies at district leadership meetings, helping teachers reframe classroom observations as opportunities for growth and reflection that support student learning. She is committed to continuous learning, seeking out strategies that will help her staff and students succeed and routinely participating in professional learning at the local, state and national levels. Readout is a certified Google educator, a leader on the district’s technology committee, and has presented at the Iowa 1:1 conference and 21st Century Learner’s Conference about educational technology.
An adjunct at Graceland University, Readout teaches an introductory education class to high school juniors and seniors, setting up students to join the ranks of the next generation of educators. The school’s former volleyball coach, Readout attends numerous sporting events and school functions. She encourages both students and teachers to reflect on their actions, learn from their mistakes, challenge themselves and never stop trying.
Readout is a graduate of Iowa State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2009 and a master’s in curriculum and instructional technology in 2015.
Press release: Iowa's 2017-18 Milken Educator Award goes to … Joni Readout!
"The rewards of being a teacher might not come daily and you might have to search for small wins every day, but they are around us all..." (read more)