This article shares the experiences of two literacy teacher educators who sought to create a beloved community for both themselves and the teachers with whom they work within their professional spaces. The authors emphasize the importance of fostering safe, collaborative environments that promote personal and professional growth. Drawing from the principles of the Beloved Community, popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the authors discuss the value of embracing a growth mindset when building such communities. Specifically, the article delves into two different professional development models as effective frameworks for cultivating beloved communities: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and Learning Labs (LLs). Both models offer space within the literacy profession, including all levels and roles of educators, to embark on a meaningful learning experience.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Petroelje Stolle, Ph.D. is a professor in Literacy Studies at Grand Valley State University and former K-12 teacher/reading specialist. She is committed to encouraging teachers to act as teaching professionals while igniting a passion for literacy in their own students. Her research interests include teacher professional development, self-study of teacher education practices, and literacy instruction. She can be reached at stollee@gvsu.edu.

Jennifer L. Vanderground, M.Ed. is an Affiliate Faculty in Literacy Studies at Grand Valley State University. She also serves as a K-12 private practice interventionist. She is committed to supporting K-12 students’ learning through individualized assessment and instructional interventions. Her research interests include teacher professional development and preservice teacher education. She can be reached at vandejl3@ gvsu.edu.



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