Name someone who deserves more credit than they get. And for bonus points, how to change things so they get more.
After this prompt arrived in my inbox, I thought and thought and thought. For every idea I had, there was a countering thought to dismiss it. Then I had the perfect idea! But I didn’t write it down or blog it on the spot. ::sigh:: Now, I have no idea what that perfect idea was.
So, second best thought is: whoever teaches someone to read, or even better, to love to read. I recognize that this may not be one solitary person but is more likely a community encountered one by one.
My grandmother was an elementary teacher who later became an elementary principal. She is the primary one who taught me to read and to love to read. I can still remember the exuberant sense of accomplishment I felt the summer between kindergarten and first grade when I was holding a first grader reader that no longer had a cover but the first and last pages were a silhouette artwork in orange of a Native American scene and I sounded out for myself the word “wigwam.” That is the moment when I knew I had unlocked the key to reading. My grandmother celebrated my accomplishment with me by having me read aloud the rest of the chapter as I sat on her lap.
My love for reading came in part through my personal circumstance of fighting Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. There were more quarters than I can count now when under doctor’s orders I was not allowed to participate in Physical Education class or run around at recess. Most of that time was spent living in a book. I had a terrific elementary librarian who helped me find books to read, expanding permission for me to check out books from the “older” class sections when I was in 3rd grade. By the time I was in 5th grade, during the times when I was restricted from activity I would read two two hundred page books a day. I’d kill to have enough time to read 400 pages a day now!
My horizons were expanded by reading. My soul was soothed by reading. My educational ability was built solidly on a foundation of reading. I wish others could have the gift my grandmother gave me.
I cherish the people who teach reading and the love of reading to children who are unrelated. They deserve more credit.