Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Dream Gift

From the Star
As you may remember, I have preciously blogged about my struggles as a reader and my mother's bribe of the American Girl Molly doll. All I ever wanted was the Molly doll and all I had to do to get it was to read the Molly book series. I didn't get through the series. I didn't even get through one chapter of one book! My mother always keeps her word so I never did get that Molly doll.

Growing up I don't think that my mother ever truly saw me as a struggling reader - more as a lazy reader. I don't blame her at all because I had wonderful, inspiring teachers, especially in elementary school who certainly tried to inspire me to read. I think because I grew up as a teacher's child, other professionals seemed to think that I must be able to read and write because I had teacher parents. When I struggled, my teachers didn't want to talk about it. They just seemed to look over my flaws and to think I would just miraculously become a good reader. I think that most of my difficulties in reading came from a lack of the knowledge - things we now know about reading. Educators simply did not have the knowledge or the resources to teach skills or the strategies that they do today. Today I think we know how to give students the skills and strategies they need to become better readers.

With all of this being said, I want to share about the dream gift that I received this year for Christmas. We were all sitting around and my mother started to talk about how proud she is of me and what a great young woman I have become. There were plenty of tears on both sides. She mentioned how proud she was of me for overcoming my reading struggles by sticking to the work even when things were difficult. Then she pulls out a box that is wrapped with a beautiful bow. As I pull off the paper, I couldn't believe what was inside! It was my very own Molly doll! I guess good things do come to those who wait. While I never did read the Molly series that doll stands with me at school each day to remind me of how I struggled to become a reader. I am using my experiences to help my students overcome their struggles. I want each of them to become successful, confident learners. After all, I am a living example that anything is possible if you don't give up!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Life as a Wonderer

As I think about my life as a scientist I know that I use the scientific method in almost all I do. This may be because I am always wondering or it may be the fact that I am a little OCD and very much an exaggerator. I seem to think that I am always right and I support this by stretching the facts a little bit, or as my mother would like to say, "She is very creative in storytelling." This may be true but I find that this helps me to solve the simple questions that I ask myself each day. I seem to find comfort in telling stories whether even if they are a little exaggerated. I find that it helps me to release my wonderings and often helps me talk through my wonderings with others so I can come to a more reasonable solution.

I have found that what I am often asking if I am doing all that I can to make my students successful and are they really "getting" what I am teaching them? These are questions that I seem to ask myself often throughout the day whether I feel that the majority of my students are getting the main objective or not. I have found myself pondering why I stress so much about it. While I know a majority will get the skill, I also know that others may take much longer to fully grasp the skill. Why does math come so easily to me but then reading and problem solving seem to be much harder skills for me? Why are some of us are visual learners and others auditory? I guess I will continue to have wonderings about these things and keep telling "stories" until I can come up with an explanation that makes sense. So until then I guess that I will keep on wondering!