Hey Everyone! My friend Tammy, over at Forever in First, has asked me to join her on her weekly Saturday Sayings...I am honored that she asked and excited to join in! Her reflective Saturday Sayings get us all to reflect on our teaching and thinking. After you read my post, be sure to click the button below and visit her too. There may be other friends joining in on the fun!
I was one of those kids...I have always loved to read...Read every night... Loved to share books and talk about them...But unfortunately, not all my students feel this way.
You see, I am a teacher of struggling readers. They have not always had an easy time or even an enjoyable time with reading.
I feel like I have a job that is two-fold. I must teach them all the skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and the list could go on and on so that they can be successful readers. But the other side of this coin is don't I also have a responsibility to teach them to LOVE to read? Won't loving to read help with the that long laundry list of skills that must also be mastered?
I think so...No, I know so! I could easily be trapped in the thoughts of my students are so far behind that we have no time to waste. We must work, work, work. I could easily be swayed by the fact that I need to teach these sweet little guys to read in only 3o minutes per day.
But I think we need to turn that around to I will provide quality literature, authentic writing opportunities, and real reasons to read and enjoy books. Then we can get down to the business of learning all those skills that go with it.
I have a confession to make...I can easily be sucked into the line of thinking "I have so much to teach" and "They are so far behind". But I have a couple of stories to share that remind me that my goal is not only to help my students read, but to instill the LOVE of reading which will help learning to read become easier.
I have a second grader who went through reading recovery last year. He improved his reading, but just didn't get a fire going. This year for some reason it has CLICKED! This child who couldn't have cared less about reading anything is reading and ENJOYING everything he checks out!! His teacher has noticed it- he volunteers now to read in class and his mom posted a sweet picture of him reading a letter to the family from Santa- her favorite moment of that Christmas night. :) Now, I don't think it was just me who did this. I think he had a lot of internal motivation and reading recovery helped him take off. And watching him take off with this new love and enjoyment for reading is exciting to me!
Another student is a twin. The other twin has never struggled with her reading, but this one has. She has improved, but never got the reading bug. This year all of a sudden, she is interested and LOVING books! She reads all the books she can from her favorite authors and then switches to a new author. She also enjoys talking to me about what she is reading. If she could, she would just sit and read and talk about her books. I JUST LOVE THAT!!
With all the pressure coming from state testing and common core, it would be easy to teach just to be sure they pass the test or to demonstrate that they learned the skill. But I think I will keep the thought that I want my readers to be readers long after they leave my class because it is something they enjoy doing. Now, I just have to figure out how to pass these 2 students enthusiasm to all our students!