Peggy Coleman is the founder of The Reading Whisperer
American Montessori Society Certified Teacher & Literacy Advocate
Positively affecting the lives of children and their families in the area for decades
Enjoying relationships lasting from pre-school past college graduation
Her successful history guiding the education and lives of young children in the LMV area resulted in a parent asking for tutoring help. “You’re known in town as the Reading Whisperer, you can teach anyone to read”.
The Reading Whisperer reading program was created and designed to address the needs of young children’s reading skills. Peggy guides children as they learn to read, with a goal of instilling a love of reading. Peggy’s decades of experience and her dedication have resulted in student academic excellence year after year.
An energetic educator, she achieves positive results and cultivates relationships with students lasting into their adult lives. Working hard to earn trust, she enjoys building strong bonds with the student’s siblings, parents, cousins and grandparents. Peggy is proud of the environments she creates that encourage and nurture mutual respect, a love of learning and attaining individual achievement. A key element to her success is the keen awareness of each individual child’s learning style and their very specific progress to-date. This helps shape a carefully customized approach and plan for each child’s individual progress. Families who trust Peggy with their child’s education know there will be an active pursuit of academic excellence alongside social and emotional growth and fun.
A Comprehensive, Cohesive & Holistic Approach
We live in a world where there are pressures on children to achieve academic and sports achievement; to pursue individual accomplishment at the expense of relationships. I teach students to think “outside of oneself”, promoting situational awareness and nurturing collaboration. I teach “the good of the whole” is paramount.
As a child’s progress is measured individually, not compared to any group, students appreciate diversity among their peers. They learn to accept, compliment and celebrate the successes of others as valuable members of fellow book lovers.
Kindness, Respect & Reading Skills
We treat each child with the utmost respect, modeling behavior they can emulate when interacting with others. Teaching others, helping younger students accomplish tasks, offers opportunities children to experience compassion and learn gentle mentoring.
We foster social awareness. We teach students to respect others; to appreciate both our sameness and our differences. We’re trying to change the world, starting with the youngest, most valuable members of our society.
Constant New Lesson Creation To Generate Ongoing Interest
Lessons synch with the current month’s events/holidays. We provide new lessons, like “the abc stepboard” to teach concepts like alphabet order, letter names/sounds association, error controlled word building, growth from short vowel words to long vowel, consonant and vowel combinations and a chance for proficient students to mentor students new to a lesson.
Pre-reading lessons include rhyming, sequencing, beginning sounds and objects for word building to go with each holiday season.
Encouraging students to explore their passions, we address the vast spectrum of participant interests creating new lessons using the internet, printed, laminated worksheets and our imagination.
Putting the Montessori Philosophy to Work While Tutoring
We see our role as tutor as a guide, who knows and understands each child very well through interaction, observation and assessment. Each lesson we present offers an opportunity to assess concrete knowledge; to evaluate each student’s readiness and ability to independently complete the task. Each success provides an insight into a child’s readiness for the next level of difficulty or challenge.
By presenting concepts using all of a child’s senses, We gain insights into whether a child learns best by listening/hearing, speaking/singing, movement/ manipulation of materials or repetition over time. This agile approach allows children to progress at their own pace and to pursue their own interests. For some children, time, repetition and maturity are the necessary elements for reading and academic success.
The Reading Whisperer is an energetic educator achieving positive results and cultivating relationships with students (and their families) often lasting into their adult lives. We’re proud of the environments we create that encourage and nurture mutual respect, a love of learning and attaining individual achievement within a group.
How We Collaborate with Young Readers & Their Families
Observing changes in parenting and the world around us; the increasing diagnoses of learning styles; and children’s struggles during decades of teaching, we are mindful to be ever vigilant in our role as support person to parents of young children.
Families who trust Peggy with their child’s education know there will be an active pursuit of academic excellence alongside social and emotional growth and fun.
We team with parents to set goals. We work together to offer each child the time and opportunity to make steady progress according to their own abilities. We believe consistent expectations and encouragement are the springboard to success.
Practicing What We Preach: The Life of a Literacy Advocate
Peggy speaks publicly about her approach to teaching children to read; how to evaluate their progress; and how to tailor their lessons. She enjoys her role as mentor, guiding both new teachers and aspiring education students.
The Reading Whisperer library has grown to thousands of children’s books.
For Peggy, known in town as The Reading Whisperer, it has been great fun curating and stocking the Little Free Library in front of her house. It is a perfect place to share our favorite children’s books. Our young neighbors are encouraged to find books that inspire their reading potential. We’re gratified to note local Libertyville, Mundelein & Vernon Hills parents drop off book donations to support this collaborative effort advocating literacy.
Consulting & Public Speaking
Based on our students’ outstanding successes, The Reading Whisperer mentors, consults, writes and speaks publicly to area Montessori schools. We share our approach for the progression of lessons used to teach reading to children.
The new systems created for tracking and recording children’s progress, as well as our formula for documenting and writing report comments for student evaluations, has been adopted as the standard in many classrooms.
The Reading Whisperer is proud of our contributions, along with several other Montessori leaders, as we strive to explore how to best apply Montessori approaches to those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, implementing the same respect for the individual.
Mentoring Future Educators
As a teacher and tutor, we try to make a contribution to future members of our profession. We get back more than we give. The love from students and gratitude from their parents are a blessing, sustaining us, inspiring and providing the opportunity to pay it forward!
The Reading Whisperer speaks to high school child development classes, at open houses, to Mom’s and library groups. Plus, we contribute at Montessori teacher training events. We bring an awareness of Montessori to the community.
Opportunities to mentor are thrilling experiences. The Reading Whisperer serves as mentor to new Montessori teachers, as the supervising lead in team teaching, and with college-student assistants. We offer suggestions, encouragement and approaches to conduct student evaluations to our peers. The Reading Whisperer works to model the approach observing, interacting and speaking to children with great love and respect. Observing other staff is an opportunity to learn from them!
Peggy Shares Her Experience as an Educator
I chose Early Education classes in high school, joining a work/study program as a junior. My first job in 1976 was as an assistant to a Montessori teacher serving as the after-school supervisor. I have been in a classroom since! I hold my dedication to the Montessori community dear.
I fulfilled the hours to complete the Montessori Associate Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society in 1981. I benefitted from amazing Montessori mentors through the years that followed. I enjoy continuing-education classes. It’s a pleasure to compare current thinking and share information via social media with Montessorians across the globe.
My experience and dedication as a Montessori pre-school Directress have resulted in student academic excellence year after year. As a teacher for decades, historically each year almost 90% of my class of three to six year old students are reading before year’s end.
Feedback from Parents
Message Us or Share Your Experience in a Review
I have to tell you, Peggy, you’re known in the community as the Reading Whisperer(TM) as you can teach anyone to read!
-VGM parent 2011
Thank you… not just for what my son learned academically in your class these past 3 years… but for who he became during his time with you.
-VGM parent 2010
The Reading Whisperer