I've decided to use the weekends to share some words that have inspired me during the week. Some words have inspired me to write more. Others have inspired me to think about the importance of parenting and teaching. Words are powerful. Language is powerful. There's never a day that I'm not reminded that life is what poetry is made from....we'll get back to writing exercises on Monday!
The first link is from a writer by the name of Annie Wickling. I actually forgot today was Valentine's Day until I read her post! Her powerful words made me think about all my loved ones...and the cards that I forgot to sign and give!
Here is the link to Annie's lovely words:
The words below are from one of the most creative and thoughtful teachers I've had the pleasure to get to know, all through the magic of the blog world. When I asked her about using her words, she said, "Parents might not like to hear what I'm saying." I think she's wrong. You be the judge. Here are her words:
I reflect constantly on my literary development and progress through life, and one constant thread is woven throughout my reflections; if I had not had a mother who was a reader and lifelong learner, I would not be where I am today.
I know there are people who look upon teachers with some disdain and talk about "doing" versus "teaching," but I am the oldest child in a family of twelve children, and I am the only one with college degrees. More than half of my brothers and sisters are high school drop-outs, and my father had only an eighth grade education, so I hope you can understand what an accomplishment it was for me when, at the age of thirty-five, I decided to attend college.
The point I want to make is that I wish more parents would encourage their children to engage in literacy activities at home. Our entire society is so wrapped up in the concept of instant gratification and constant stimulation of the senses, whether through technology, sports, or always being on the go, that literacy education is left entirely to the schools. Schools don't have the time or resources to make sure that students are practicing strategies taught in school and honing their skills to be ready to move on. I'm afraid that many of the students I have are going to have difficulty finding jobs that will provide life's necessities, much less allow them to live the responsibility-free lives many of their parents are now allowing them to live. Also, I hate to burst any budding athlete's bubble, but those big money contracts go to those who work HARD and have big talent, and everyone needs a backup plan.
Even if parents just allow kids to scribble pretend letters and lists or point out environmental print, or tell nursery rhymes to their children, in the end it will impact the way they process and approach literacy, and improve their background knowledge. This last is a biggie with me. Sometimes it is unbelievable to me the lack of background knowledge students are bringing to the table. Is this just because our oral traditions have gone the way of the horse and buggy? I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do think parents need to interact verbally with their children more often and do some of the other things I've written about to help their children be better able to navigate the world of print. Enough! I'm off my soapbox!
Words are powerful. Language is powerful. Life is poetry in motion.