“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.: ~Elizabeth Hardwick
Being a kindergarten teacher saddles me with a huge responsibility. EVERYTHING they learn in my classroom is the foundation for the rest of their education. I don’t know if you have set foot in a kindergarten class lately, but it is a lot different than how it used to be. Yes – we have a kitchen center and a block center. But intermixed with those developmental, social play centers are cubbies and spaces filled with academic activities. At the end of this year, my hope is to have each and every one of my students reading. Not only just reading – but reading and LOVING it! I know that a love for reading can carry you through the most difficult of subjects and school years. Reading has always been an escape for me – from reality or to a new and different world where I can learn. One of the most profound things I remember from getting my master’s degree was a quote that went a little something like this: Books can be mirrors or windows. A book that is a mirror is a book we can find ourselves in. A book that is a window is a book we can see others through.
I obviously have passion for reading – a passion for books. Ask anyone who has seen me teach, has gotten an unheard of (seemingly random) picture book as a gift, or knows how I can spend my days during time off. But even with my love of books, even with my passion for reading – I know that literacy means more than just being literate enough to read the words on a page. Literacy is more than writing one’s name or thoughts. Literacy spans ages, times, and subject areas. Even Wikipedia defines literacy in terms of reading and writing – going as far as to break it down into visual literacy, semantics, syntax, and the like. What about math literacy? Digital literacy? Scientific literacy?
To create forward thinking, capable, inspirational citizens for the future – I, as a teacher, must create students who are fully literate. Not only must my kindergarteners be able to read the alphabet, write their names, and write numbers. They must also be able to read simple texts, write simple stories, and solve word problems. They must be able to navigate their way through digital media and traditional books alike.
And we’re off!