Teach English in GushAn Zhen - Taizhou Shi

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Readers are Leaders: How to instill a love for reading in children? I worked as a TA for 6 years in my younger years with a teacher who taught kindergarten and grades 1 and 2. She also had her bachelor’s degree in Special Education. Teaching children to read and fall in love with reading was a passion I learned from her. The first and most important lesson she taught me was that instilling a love for reading in children starts with reading to a child from birth. By the time a child starts kindergarten he/she will hopefully have been, at the very least, introduced to books and read to by their parents or siblings daily. My job as the teacher is to show the 5 year old how learning to read is going to open the world to them by teaching them to learn to read. When reading with a child pointing to words as they are being read by the child helps them focus on the word, along with help from the teacher if necessary. (i.e. phonics) Which is the way I was taught and the class I was a TA in was taught this way as well. Making word lists, practicing them, using them in another sentence, and reading the book again with the new found knowledge will help them to remember these words/sounds. Some children are very good at memorizing a book so changing books often is a very necessary tool. It is also important to the child’s development in reading to encourage them to read out loud and helping when it is necessary. A little prompting goes a long way. The best exercise I saw and used was to have the child pick a topic of their choosing and have the child write a story, with pictures drawn by the child, and then have the child make a book with a cover page and title and the child’s name as the author. It gives the child a sense of pride in a job well done. Finding the topic the child is drawn to or makes them happy will help the child become eager to read. Showing the child that they can go anywhere, be anything, and do anything in a story in a book is so exciting. It lets them escape for a period of time. Teaching a child that there is so much information that can be learned from reading is going to help engage him/her and grow that seed you have planted for them to become lovers of reading. There is nothing quite like the “aha” moment when all the work that has been done comes together and they discover that they can indeed read! It is the moment that all teachers who have a love for teaching a child to read wait for. As the child ages the reading will have grown with him/her, if carefully nurtured and encouraged, to include a broader range of reading materials. It is important to introduce as many different reading venues as possible to ensure that he/she has a wide range to choose from as per his/her interests. As an adult there are so many areas of life that require you to be a good reader so you are able to navigate your way through them. All manner of forms and applications have to be filled out correctly, from getting a driver’s license, applying for a job, applying for a place to live, or looking for a particular street. If you do not have a great reading ability these can become an overwhelming tasks. If a child is encouraged to love reading, then his/her chances to excel in life and become a leader are vastly improved. With the advent of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Texting, and Google and many others that pop up every day, reading a book is becoming a way of the past. A new form of information gathering has arrived and therefore, we as teachers, have to adjust our approach to teaching. Young children should not have the same access to technology as an 11 year old but we must be aware that they are introduced to technology at a very young age. We therefore, have to make sure that we instill a love for reading in the same manner, by reading to them and encouraging them to read and showing them all the information they will be able to learn if they form a love for reading. As the child becomes older your intention is that they will use that technology to further their love for reading and learning new things each and every day. To become a great leader you have to be a great reader no matter the way you garner the information. To stay a great leader you again have to be a great reader. If you are, then you will achieve greatness in whatever path you choose in your life. Knowledge is power! If you want a child to grow to love reading you must, as well as teach them to read and reading to them, let them see you reading. Encouraging parents to read to and with their children is very important to instill that habit with them. Lead by example! This is a great way to start a child on the path to becoming a great reader and loving it as well as having the potential to becoming a great leader. I have a great love for reading which was encouraged by my mother and my first teacher. They just happened to be the same person.