Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why I Became a Literacy Teacher

Why I Became a Literacy Teacher

Dear Readers,

I have been wanting to start a blog for quite a while. Amazing people in my PLN have asked me when I am going to start blogging about all the books that I read. I finally took a moment tonight to investigate Google Blogger and realized it might be easier than I thought. In order to understand my love of literacy and teaching, you need to hear the start of my academic career in elementary school. Currently, in 6th grade Language & Literature, we are writing personal narratives. I always write with my students and use the same story. I use it as a tool to make connections and build rapport.

As a kindergartner, many years ago, I went to school for approximately 2.5 hours. It was a time to learn social skills and engage with my peers. I was a shy child and spent most of my time surrounded by my family, particularly my grandparents. Much to my chagrin, upon entering 1st grade, I realized I would no longer be spending most of my day with those that I loved.

On my way to the bus stop, on the second day of 1st grade, I intentionally missed the bus. I remember I walked home and was surprised when my mother put me in the car and drove me to school. I entered the main office to find the principal, school nurse and my 1st grade teacher. Insisting that my mother leave, the staff attempted to get me into the classroom by carrying me. I wanted no part of it. As they brought me through the doorway, I wedged my little fingers between the door and wall, in that 1-2 inch space, and held on tight. Needless to say, I was not a student who was easily forgotten.

Years later, that same 1st grader teacher awarded me a scholarship. It was given to a high school senior wishing to go into teaching as a career. She told that story at the awards dinner. As embarrassed as I was at the time, I can imagine now that I am an adult and teacher myself, she was proud of me for who I had became.

I was that student who always carried a book. I was that student who kept to herself and exercised her independence. I was that student who did not always want to follow the rules of school such as being told what to read and what to write. I was often bored and disengaged in school. 

My hope as a literacy teacher is to open up a world of reading and writing to all students. My hope is to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students. My hope is to engage students in their learning. My hope is to build their confidence and help them reach for the stars and dream of anything they can imagine.

To all you teachers who may deal with difficult students, thank you for being patient with us. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for encouraging us to pursue our dreams.