This quote comes from Catching Readers Before They Fall by Pat Johnson and Katie Keier. It kind of makes sense that the authors would be referencing safety nets with a title like that. What kinds of safety nets are typically available for our early readers? There's possibly Reading Recovery, Title 1, and intervention groups, to name a few. You could probably add to the list. Aren't we glad these safety nets are in place? Our little struggling readers are surrounded with support. The authors of this book though, would argue that there's one safety net that needs to be stronger than any of the others. It's not to say the others aren't important, because of course they are, but the teacher needs to be the strongest support system these little readers will come in contact with. Quality literacy instruction from the classroom teacher will spread a pretty strong safety net.
When I think of the net I spread this year, I'm saddened about the few who found a way to slip through the holes, yet so very thankful for the other nets in the system that will help support these little ones. Regardless of those supports though, I'm continually challenged to find ways to improve the quality of my classroom instruction and the strength of my own net. My favorite little people are counting on it to be strong.