I am taking an online course called Reading Apprenticeship. It might have some other official title, but that is essentially what it is. Making the invisible process of reading more tangible for struggling readers.
I am very excited about this. It was piloted at some school or other and they liked it so well that they had the entire staff of their community college go through the training.
Why am I telling you about this? Because as part of the Reading Apprenticeshop (the first part actually) you need to do a Personal Reading History in which you think about:
1. What supported you in your development as a reader?
2. What barriers did you experience in your development as a reader?
3. Were there times that you felt like an insider/outsider to reading process?
I did this with my students. And as an opener I had did a brief description of my personal reading history. I was aware that for some of my students (non-traditional, second language, people who never finished high school) their reading history might be painful to recount. So I chose to be brutal and honest with my own. This seemed only fair. Plus it gave me yet another opportunity to evangelize and demystify...
1. support: parents who took me to the library a lot. A Lot. I joked that the barrier was the fact that they limited me to only the number of books I was able to personally carry.
3. insider - most of the time. outsider- when I went to Japan and suddenly became a functionally illiterate adult. It sucked. My spoken language was fine. That graphic language though-- the ideograms of Chinese that crossed the sea to Japan-- stopped me cold. I was prepared to start a movement to kick those foreign characters out of the language. Heck, out of the country. Some sort of nationalistic "Japanese for Japan" movement so that I could read things with just the phoenetic alphabets (is anyone else bothered by the fact that phoenetic is not spelled funetickly?) I was somewhat less flippant with my students. I don't want to scare them away from my class.
2. Barriers: BIG one was clinical Depression in high school. First I was unable to read for pleasure (because it wasn't fun). Then I was unable to read texts for class because they didn't make sense. Then I was unable to read a paragraph because by the time I got to the end of it, I forgot what was at the beginning. So I stopped reading. That was a fairly big barrier. The stopping.
This, for some reason brings to mind the Martin Niemoller poem...
First it came for my beloved books and I did not speak out
because I was not a piece of literature.
Then it came for my academic texts and I did not speak out
because I was not a scholarly work.
Then it came for all my words and I did not speak out
Then it came for me
and there was nothing left to speak for me
Grateful Crap: The growing sense of belief? conviction? that I am a kick-ass person who is well worth knowing. Even though it is really super hard for me to write that without cringing. It is not humble or Minnesotan or appropriately self-deprecating, but there it is. I totally rock. Not all the things that I do, but the essence of me. (Why is it so hard for me to separate those two? Why is it so easy to conflate having an untidy home with being a terrible person?)
took meds in the morning (150mg sertraline 450mg bupropion)
walked up and down those stairs... 3 miles today
evangelized and spread the radical idea that competent, not-unhappy people may struggle invisibly with Depression
Quaker, teacher, parent,