Perks of Public Education: E = Emerging Readers

Today, I will address one of the perks of teaching public education. This perk mainly applies to my current kindergarten position. When I taught eighth grade, I did not have the enjoyment of it. My perk today is E for emerging readers.

One of the best things about teaching kindergarten is teaching students to read. The children are very eager and excited to learn to read. I love to see a child’s eyes sparkle as he/she reads his/her very first book.

Toddlers often pretend to read the words in books. However by kindergarten, most students realize that they are not really reading. Therefore, reading the actual words is a big accomplishment to them. They are so proud of themselves that they want to read everything in the room.

Teaching a child to read also amazes parents. Many comments that I receive from parents address how surprised and pleased they are that their child is reading.

My students are always thrilled when they reach the point that they are given a ‘reader’ to take home for homework. After Christmas, we begin placing our students in small reading groups and read books with simple text. When a student masters one book, he/she receives a higher-level book. Eventually, students move into the old series of the first grade basal reading textbooks. The goal of many of my students is to get an ‘official looking’ reading textbook.

When I taught eighth grade I had an opportunity to teach students many new skills. However, their attitude toward learning to multiple binomials or solve for variables was not near as enthusiastic as my students’ attitude in kindergarten.

Reading is different from other skills. Teaching students to read is a wonderful feeling. Books and reading opens the door for a child’s future. A major perk of teaching for me is getting to work with emerging readers.

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