It’s such a strange (yet being a teacher… familiar feeling) to go from feeling so excited about teaching one moment, to being completely deflated and saddened the next. There’s such a huge job ahead of us. As I said before, it is SO important to provide our students with as many opportunities as possible to read in school. After reading this article, I am reminded that there are students who may come to my classroom, and the reading they do with me could be the only experiences they have with books, with reading, and with writing ever. It breaks my heart. And I’m ashamed that this isn’t a constant thought in my head. I just can’t imagine a life like that. I can be as empathetic as possible for my students, but no matter how aware and educated I am, I will never have some of the experiences that they are having.
But, hopefully, because I am aware, and because I CARE, I believe that I can serve a thoroughly beneficial role in their lives. They (i.e., minority students, students from economically disadvantaged areas, students whose families are on welfare, etc.) need REPETITION, in regards to vocabulary usage; they need to be held to expectations that require them to push themselves. They have a huge gap to cross. According to the reading…“By grade seven, they were more than 2 years behind the norms [in regards to economically disadvantaged students defining literary words]” (p. 459). Since these children are not receiving the help, support, and advocacy from home, they need their teachers to do that.
These children need to understand the important of words and they need to realize that they are capable of developing a vocabulary that enables them to succeed academically. Words are tools for success and every single child should have access to those tools.