My Own Literacy History

799 words | 3 page(s)

As a now literate adult, reflecting on my journey to literacy will greatly assist me as a future teacher. The experiences I have had throughout my early childhood including the influence of my family and teachers will be valuable as I learn how to shape the minds of my students.

When I start to look back at my literacy development, I have a vague memory since I was so young at the time. My mother tells me, however, how my love of books developed as she remembers everything. Parents generally remember everything their children do for the very first time as well as particular nuances and interests their children had.

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My mother says it started in preschool with my teacher, Ms. Jackie. All I can remember during preschool is that I loved my teacher and never once did I hate going to school. During that time, my teacher taught us the alphabet using a song. This made the learning process fun and also served as a way to easily recall the alphabet and the sounds of each letter.

As I began to learn to identify words, I also began reading both at school and at home. It began with my mother reading to my little sister and I. Some of my favorite books included The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle as well as Walt Disney books including Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast. This early exposure to literature is essential, as it shows the child that reading is a positive experience and that it is to be enjoyed rather than an arduous task assigned only by teachers and forced upon the student. This at-home support was essential to my literacy development.

During my early school years, I continued to enjoy reading; however, found difficulties when I was unable to select which books to read. Often, teachers would assign books that I did not enjoy, which made reading difficult and more like a chore. Additionally, some of the books were very simple and I found them to be boring as I was an advanced-level reader. Later on, I remember having teachers which would allow us to select our own books to read. This way, the students were able to select books based on their interests and reading levels. I found this method to be much more enjoyable.

Book fairs were an important part of my literacy. Book fairs were an opportunity to assume a level of independence and make purchasing decisions on my own, which was an exciting experience as a child. Of course I was also excited to shop for new books, many of which my friends were reading at the time. The book fair always brought in the most up-to-date titles that were popular among children my age, and so, I was eager to read the books my friends were also reading.

Once I learned to read and write, my parents also bought me a journal and encouraged me to write my thoughts and experiences down. This further assisted my literacy development as it was a fun way for me to practice writing. Often, I would share my journal with my parents and they would assist me in correcting my spelling. They encouraged me to write short stories as well in an effort to further develop my skills.

As a teacher, I intend to use my experiences to my advantage. I believe educating parents on the importance of making the child’s home a place for continued learning and literacy crucial. I intend to encourage parents to work with their children on reading, either reading to their child or listening while their child reads to them. In addition, I will encourage parents to provide their child with a journal and review journal entries with their children if the child wishes to share their writing.

Additionally, I intend to maintain a classroom filled with a variety of books for a variety of reading level to allow children of different reading levels to select books pertinent to their abilities and interests. This way, children will not become discouraged when they find the book the class is reading boring, or too easy/difficult. I will also encourage book fairs in my school to give children the opportunity to purchase books that are of interest to them. In order to prevent children of a lower socio-economic status, I hope to also develop a fund for these children which would allow them to purchase books as well and feel included.

Overall, as future teachers it is essential to examine the experiences and people who have helped shape our literacy. As we were all children once and have all had to learn to read and write, we share a number of experiences that can be learned from in order to be effective instructors.

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