What is Reading?

kids laying down and reading

Seriously.  Can we talk?

Get ready because there just may be a rant brewing.

Sometimes people who teach children to read will say things. And those things offend. Not because they’re intended to do so. Definitely not. Teachers are amazing people. They are passionate. We don’t do what we do for anything short of love – and I’m not kidding. Capital L. O. V. E.

And still.

Sometimes I hear these words.

“Well, she READ it, but she didn’t understand it.”

“He really just needs phonics. He can’t sound out the SCHWA”.                                          (Like a schwa is a thing that everyone GETS.) It is times like these I feel genuine embarrassment for my profession.  I mean my profession isn’t a JOB at all.  It is a genuine calling.  We don’t do this to serve up SCHWA. Or any other edu-speak-jargon.  We do this to help children become fully functioning people.

We grow people here.

But sometimes we get stuck in what we “know” where truly it should be all about what we can help THEM to know.

Okay… rant in full swing here. Feel free to quit reading anytime. But you, my friend, understand that this is exactly what it is. A call to action. A call to reading teachers everywhere.

Why is it that as educators we ask parents, loved ones, people who have been gifted with children and simply want to give them everything they never had to help their kids  memorize sounds for ie, ea, eigh?

Can’t we just help them learn to READ?

And by “read” I do not mean word-call.


I mean understand.

reading tree

Reading, my friends is never word-calling. Is that a reason anyone reads?  I never do. I read to do exactly what I believe in my deepest core READING means: I read to understand.

I read to grow my understanding.

I read to be moved.

I read to comprehend a world that I cannot possibly know or discover without print and author and intention.

I read because I want to become greater, better, more than I am.

This is why I read. This is why I teach. This is reading.



About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the School at the north end of Los Angeles Harbor where AWESOME happens. Working to make the world a little more wonder-full.
This entry was posted in Passion for teaching, reading, SOL2016, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What is Reading?

  1. elsie says:

    So true! When did reading ever be about saying the right words? Rant on! I’m with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bbutler627 says:

    Where do I begin? I mean, rant away! This is why clapping emojis were invented. When words just don’t seem enough to convey applause for this piece.

    “We grow children here” Yes! There’s so many levels to reading but that’s for us to know and keep mum about. We reading teachers decided to become the experts of be ins and outs but somehow there was this gross shift in making children reading robots. I blame the absurd standardized testing and over analysis of results for starts. Sorry, now you’ve got me ranting! This is slice is just fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tara Smith says:

    We grow people here.
    Yes! How can that important piece be left out of any teaching day?!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those last three sentences are really good STUFF!! I feel the passion. It’s like a mission statement or slogan for running shoes or some other motivational message. Well done, you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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