Is there one of us who is not haunted by the memory of a child we failed?
From The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
I know that as I grow as an educator, I realize how much I didn’t know just the year before. And as a result, I realize how many children I have failed. They may have left be better readers, but they also left without the love of reading.
I have always had the goal of making children life-long readers, but that is not the goal of districts that want high test scores. As a reading teacher, I serviced students who came to me in third grade already hating reading and far behind grade level. I was in a constant battle between what I felt was right and what I was expected to do in terms of curriculum and assessment. This year, with my district’s move toward reading workshop, I am finally doing what feels right. The student spend the majority of time READING books that they WANT TO READ! With modeling and guidance, students choose books they want to read and spend an average of an hour engaged in reading independently each day.
More and more students are realizing that reading and books are fun! We have not won over every student, but the year is not over yet!