A few days ago, I saw this post on fellow Slice of Life blogger mbush17’s blog and tucked away the idea for future inspiration.
I’ve thought a lot over the past several months about my beliefs about literacy. As a new district-wide literacy coach in a district that has not had this level of instructional support in reading and writing in almost a decade, my beliefs have frequently been questioned, challenged, and affirmed over the past six months–most often by myself.
As I sit down to write this evening and reflect on this journey, here are a few of my opinions…
In my opinion, authenticity is essential. Kids need to read real books and write for real audiences. (So do adults, for that matter!)
In my opinion, reading is a social behavior. While there’s a huge convenience to consolidating a whole stack of books onto a small electronic device, something is always lost when another person can’t use the cover of a book to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
In my opinion, reading and writing should be joyful. Many kids see joyful reading (and sometimes writing) modeled at home; many do not. It is up to us as teachers to always show kids how much joy you can bring to yourself and others through literacy.
In my opinion, every single reader and writer is unique. Some kids come into kindergarten already reading skillfully; others do not yet know their letters and sounds. Some kids are fascinated by nonfiction; others refuse to read texts without a plot and characters. Our job as teachers, then, is to know our readers and writers so that we may help them outgrow themselves.
In my opinion, devoting time to reading choice books independently every day is a necessity.
In my opinion, there is never an age at which you are too old to have someone read aloud to you.
In my opinion, graphic novels and audio books are real texts, too.
In my opinion, we learn incredible amounts about ourselves and the world through reading. We build empathy by mourning the death of Charlotte, surviving the Holocaust with Ellen, and bearing the shameful embarrassment of smashing a raw egg on our own heads with Ramona. Books transport us to different times and places, connecting us with other worlds and events in history. As Rudine Sims Bishop has so famously stated, books definitely are our “mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.”
In my opinion, writing is always better with just the right pen. Or two. Or a dozen.
In my opinion, reading and writing are inseparable, opposite sides of the same coin.
In my opinion, we must be the readers and writers we want our students to become. Would you want to learn how to scuba dive from someone who didn’t spend a lot of time in the ocean?
In my opinion, a rich, diverse collection of books is one of the best investments we can make in our children’s futures.
In my opinion, literacy is the thread that connects us all. Through good books, we laugh together, we cry together, we are moved to change the world together. Writing has the power to unite or to divide. We must never underestimate the power of words.
In my opinion, our journey as readers and writers is one that does not end. No matter how old we are, a good book has the power to transform us.
In my opinion, reading and writing are the best gifts we can pass on to our children.
Slice of Life is a month-long writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog to learn more and join the community!