Me as a reader

I read, boy do I read. When I was studying for my BEd I took a class in children’s literature and one of our assignments was a history of ourselves as readers, starting with what our parents read to us. I couldn’t remember my parents reading to me – so much so that I challenged them with it. They both responded, in unison, ‘what are you talking about? One fish, two fish, red fish, blue, fish!

So apparently they did read to me. The thing was, I began to read independently at a very young age and so perhaps the memories of their reading to me go too far back.

Kevin has created a list, 50 things about him as a reader. I’m not sure if I’ll get to 50 things and, as he wrote, perhaps it is a work in progress, our readerliness. But I like the idea of reflecting on myself as a reader, reading is a big part of who I am.

I became a teacher because I wanted to help as many kids as possible become readers. I was inspired by a PBS show, can’t remember the name right now, about a group of friends in elementary school who would solve mysteries, crimes, problems by reading their way through clues. Really. At the time I was a bartender, having completed a BFA in painting and art history 4 years earlier and so my afternoons were free to both watch PBS and ponder my future. At around the same time I visited a friend who was teaching French in Toronto and spent a week doing an art project with her students. That was it, I was hooked on the classroom, so I went back to school.

Writing this makes me think about my current teaching practice. What I do now has very little to do with reading. There is some reading in the French curriculum in Ontario (Core French) but very little. The focus of the program is oral communication and reading is not evaluated at all until grade 4. I became a French teacher because it was the only way for me to get into the Ontario system with its glut of teachers, but I do miss helping students to work with the written word.

Back to me as a reader…

I could keep writing but I need to get myself presentable for work. I’ll be adding to this but for now, what stories do you have about you as a reader?