I know many parents teach their children to read prior to them going to kindergarten. It didn’t happen as often when I was a child. Parents were too busy and some had large families and too few dollars to do so. So yes, I say, thank a teacher or many teachers!
Having been a teacher for over thirty years, you might think I’m tooting my own horn, but hear me out! I didn’t teach one child to read. Well, I helped but I can’t take credit for fully teaching any child to read. In one school I taught students in kindergarten to grade five, and I may have helped some children learn sounds, words and sentences. But to say I was solely responsible for this process would be wrong.
I can thank Dorothy Hinks, Helen Murphy and many more for helping me become a reader. To say that it has brought me hours, days, months of pleasure is an understatement! When I’m going anywhere in the world, I ask myself “Which book or books shall I take along?” Taking advice from other readers is key in making a great holiday even better. When I find a bookshelf on resorts with books for the taking, I’m in my glee! You can be sure I do take advantage of this!
Mrs. O’Brien-Ryan, Mrs. Brennan and Mr. Campbell all helped me decide on my career path and my university choices. I loved Ms. O’Brien’s enthusiasm and love for teaching. Seeing her walking around the classroom with a big smile on her face, with energy in that walk, would encourage anyone to want to work with children. Mrs. Brennan tried her best to help us like certain writers like Robert Frost and Carl Sandberg. And who could forget Mr. Campbell? I think I fell in love with his love for literature. Oh, those high school days! I think it was Faber who really got my juices going for reading everything I could get my hands on, to try to see the world through the eyes of many writers.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my mother helped by buying us Humpty Dumpty magazines and by giving us money to get comic books. Hardcover or softcover books were mostly absent, so school textbooks were very important in developing a love for reading. My father read Louis L’Amour novels and my mother read Harlequin novels. So I followed my mother’s footsteps and read all of her books which she traded with family and friends. I read a book a night when I became a teenager, and while they were not inspirational literature, they sufficed when nothing else was available.
Some of you may remember a teacher who you feel was a big inspiration in your life, and may have egged you on to reading widely, from many genres. What was it about your teacher that he or she got you interested in choosing favorite writers or studying a certain topic? Perhaps your reading teacher was your mother or father, and how did one of them inspire you to love reading? I will shout it to the top of my lungs “IF YOU CAN READ, THANK A TEACHER!”