I was reflecting on my way home from work today on how sick I am of reading. I was never a good reader. I had to put all my attention to the book while reading otherwise I would forget what I had read.
It wasn’t until college when I was taught about reading strategies. Now a days I could have been classified as ADHD, but I had amazing executive functions skills! Although I was a frequent book reader, I never actually read a book until college.
The first book I “read” was Number the Stars. I was a junior in college and it was a 4th grade level text. After college I developed a liking for books and read for pleasure. Naturally I read more historical fiction, non-fiction and realistic fiction. I always felt that if I was going to read I might as well learn something from the text.
My current position requires me to read, read and read some more. As a result, I never want to READ! As I mentioned, I was never a good reader, and really never a good writer or editor, yet my current position calls for all of that!
This past week I ran a meeting where we talked about a student who struggled with reading. Immediately, I began thinking about my experience with books, reading and strategies.
The student’s math homework consisted of word problems. They were required to complete reading fluency practice daily at home. They were also required to complete ELA homework (which involved reading), read for 30 minutes and read an additional book for library class.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the importance of reading, but my heart goes out to these students who struggle with reading and are forced to do it ALL DAY LONG and then again at night. I
It makes me think about the pressure we put on children now a days and how it affects their emotional well-being.
I am 32 years old which I consider “young”, but things have changed dramatically for our students since I was in school. The expectations are high and continue to be more demanding. However, at the same time society has become more complex, the cost of living has increased further putting stress on students, families and society as a whole. There are also implications of social media and technology on our young kids. There are pros and cons and often not enough balance. Teacher’s jobs have become even more complex in this day and age as we try to reel the student’s attention into the classroom to focus on learning and away from the video games, internet and cell phones. I believe parents and teachers have many more challenges ahead of them.