I was in the midst of a completely different kind of blog post when I encountered something that prompted me to put THIS post together! This post is not about my coolest new freebie or a hot new packet you must get your hands on. This post is from my heart...or over-rated as it might be, this post is about something that is near and dear to me....reading!
I find it perfect timing as we prepare for our the upcoming year...that we take a minute to understand what our job is as educations..and just as importantly take time to appreciate the difference we DO make! First off...I want to talk about our job as educators. No, am not going to talk about how you should run your classroom or how many minutes you should spend teaching math everyday. Moreover, I want to talk about our job to teach children the love of reading!
It never fails that I hear my little Kindergarteners say, "But, Mrs. West I don't know how to read!" Well, when I hear that the first thing I want to do is shed a little tear...but I quickly snap out of it and respond with a, "Of course you know how to read Johnny"...and I give them a quick example of they can read. Johnny might not be reading on a first grade level or know all of the 40 sight words, but Johnny can none the less read!
So, one of my first jobs as an educator is to teach my young learners what it means to read! After they realize that yes they CAN read they will be so inspired! We will read repetitious poems and songs, meet at the carpet to read easy readers as a group, or meet back at the table work on our one to one tracking skills saying animal picture names.
When you look at the definition above of reading you will notice the usual...letters and words, but look "symbols" is listed and even more "etc." Don't worry Johnny an "etc." can be pointing to the alphabet carpet and stating all of the animals. You CAN read! So, I challenge you...right after you teach your new crew how to sit criss-cross-applesauce and how to line up...teach them the love for reading! Teach them YOUR love for reading along side teaching them that reading is more than reading a chapter book!
Next, I wanted to share my appreciation for what you do! Together we are an army...we are protecting, caring for, teaching, and making a DIFFERENCE! In the hustle and bustle of back to school season don't forget why you do this...your love for children and your desire to be a life changer...that's you- -changing the world one little kiddo at a time!
Tara West, Little Minds at Work