Seeing that literacy and reading has become a primary focus of all the teachers and staff
within the Chinook School Division, I thought I would write a little about my passion for helping young readers evolve. Hope you enjoy!
Dr. Seuss once said “the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” This statement is one that is posted on the front wall of the classroom where I am currently interning. Dr. Seuss may have many whimsical stories, but this statement couldn’t be any truer. As a young reader, I hated to read. It was always the last thing I wanted to do and I would find almost anything else to do instead. Because of this, I believe that that could have been a reason why I wasn’t a remarkable student. This pattern continued until a teacher assistant/family friend recommend the book that changed my life forever as a reader, student, and now a teacher. It was the book that made me fall in love with reading. From this experience, I believe that it can take as little as one book to grasp a student’s imagination and captivate them long enough until they are so engrossed that they don’t want to stop reading. As a teacher, I feel that I have to learn who my students are as readers, no matter at what level, and provide the opportunities and resources that will allow them become passionate readers.
In the classroom there are many types of readers. For the most part, there are the ones that already love to read, the ones that don’t know how to read, and the ones that don’t want to read. Teachers need to reach all those students and help them to grow as readers. One way that I have been trying to do this is by incorporating teachings from SaskReads resources. This has the students looking for books that interest them, finding a purpose for reading, choosing good fit books, and tracking their thoughts as they read. However, in order for all this to happen, the students must have a variety of books that they are able to explore. This leads into my next point. I believe teachers need to develop a library that has a wide range of book types. It is undoubtedly important to show our love for reading, but when buying books for our classrooms, we need to go beyond our personal preferences. We need to find books that would be appealing for all young readers with different interests. As well, I feel that some of the book choices that we make, both as teachers and students, need to challenge us in some way. This could be in terms of our reading level, our beliefs and understandings, or our tastes in books. It is without a doubt that when we challenge ourselves, we will see growth in learning in one aspect or another.
At any rate, we, as teachers, will have students who come to the classroom with multiple abilities and experiences. However, I believe that when we create the right conditions we will be able to see our students flourish into individuals that love to read. In some cases, it may be as simple as helping them find that first-love book. In others, it may take time and perseverance. No matter what the case is, we need to continue encouraging our young readers to continue reading so that they are able to experience the opportunities that await them.