What does a love of learning really mean? What does it look like, and why is it important?
I have the absolute pleasure to teach twenty-seven of the strongest, most driven, and loving fifth graders, who have experienced more heartbreaks and upsets in their short lives than any other child I have ever met.
Their stories bring chills to my spine and tears to my eyes each and every day. The majority of my students live in the projects near our school. Some students live with just their immediate family, while others live in an overpacked area with immediate and extended family.
Others don't live with their families at all. And most of my students have already lost one of their parents or close relatives due to violence or abandonment. While these lives are nothing to be overlooked, my students and their families have still found their smiles each and every single day in our classroom.
Think back to your childhood, what book(s) come to mind? What was that one book in your life that made you into a reader? Was it The Giving Tree, Dr. Seuss? Maybe it was A Child Called It...that was my one book that made me feel and begin to love reading. What would have happened if these books never crossed our paths or were never put into our hands, would you be where you are today?
Research has shown that reading is one of the strongest indicators of success.
Yes, this seems obvious. But what happens when children do not want to read? When children refuse to read? When children grow to hate reading before leaving elementary school? As an educator, it is my passion and my ultimate goal to instill a love of reading and a love of learning within each and every one of my students, each and every day. But how can one teach a love of learning with books that are hard to love?
My students deserve to read and learn from amazing, vibrant and memorable texts. They deserve to hear that one story that will change their lives and turn them into a reader! These mentor texts have all been hand selected for their content, images, lessons, morals, and enjoyment for each and every student. In order to begin on a path of success, we must begin reading texts that encourage success, encourage love and encourage readers!
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