Ruth Ayres is the director of the Lead Learners Consortium in northern Indiana. She spends her days helping students find meaning in their stories, and encouraging teachers to reflect and refine the art of teaching. “I love documenting ordinary stories from everyday life,” Ruth says.
Ruth earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University. She has taught seventh grade language arts in Wawasee Middle School for four years. She is currently the district’s writing coach.
Ruth says that she wanted to become a teacher because she wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of middle schoolers. “I like helping students see the power of their everyday stories and to learn how their words can make the world a better place. I consider myself among the most fortunate because I spend my days with children and adolescents, teaching them how to make sense of the world through reading and to impact the world with their voice through writing.”
In her free time Ruth likes to read, write, take photos, walk, cook, and scrapbook. She and her husband Andy have four children.
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Ruth Ayres confers with second grader Reagan about writing she is revising for publication about a class trip to the zoo that included her grandmother. Ruth introduces her to the concept of frames in illustrations, using an example from a picture book.
Ruth Ayres attends a share session at the end of a second-grade writing workshop conducted entirely in Spanish. It’s a gift and privilege for her to experience what non-Native speakers do every day in English language classrooms, and it makes her reflect upon what it takes to make anyone feel welcome in a classroom or school community.
Ruth Ayres eavesdrops on some moms complaining about homework assignments, and finds the experience leads to reflection on the dangers of forcing students to make themselves vulnerable in classrooms.
Ruth Ayres observes a coach who is a master at modeling lessons. What looks easy and natural on the surface belies all the skill and planning just below the surface.
Ruth Ayres shows how one first-grade teacher saves precious time by not ending minilessons with lots of directions for independent work.
Ruth Ayres is interrupted during a busy day by a first-grade teacher who enthuses over the details in a student draft. This leads to some reflection on the importance of taking time to marvel.
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