Philosophy of Reading

Philosophy of Reading 
I believe that reading is powerful.   The ability to read is important to every child’s success in school.  Reading is an interactive process that should be taught from the very first day they arrive, until the day when they receive their degree.  As a teacher I feel that it is my obligation to build a classroom that helps every student become a successful reader.   As each child is different, it is important to keep in mind that learning to read is different for every child.  I believe that every child can learn how to read and that each child’s ability to read is impacted by their environment.

My goal is to create a classroom that welcomes all readers, and to exemplify the joy of reading as a way to encourage reading for those who are challenged as well as for the advanced learner.  I regard reading as a priority because every aspect of learning is dependent on each child’’s ability to access language through the written word.  To achieve these goals, my philosophy includes creating a classroom environment that provides good instruction, lessons that build on students’ comprehension skills, and creating assessments that not only help students reach their goals but help me to provide the instruction that meets my students’ needs.

Classroom environment

The environment of my classroom should include space that encourages students to take chances on learning new ideas.  There should be a variety of reading materials that include not only books from each child’s own culture and language, but that also include a diverse collection of materials that are reflective of Portland’s multicultural community at large.  This environment should be open and supportive to fit the needs of all students.  I envision a classroom layout to include signs and labels as well as anchor charts that assist students with disabilities to make connections between things they already know and new information they will learn for writing.   This environment should include print-rich and media-rich materials that integrate the skills of the students I hope to teach as well as include and celebrate cultural diversity.

To accomplish this literacy-rich classroom, I plan to provide space that includes some of the following things: word walls, colorful posters that promote literacy, and a classroom library area filled with age appropriate books at different reading levels.  There should also be two areas that are accessible for shared reading and one area for listening to stories or music on CD.

Comprehension skills

It is important to help students develop comprehension skills.  Some of the ways I suggest to accomplish this goal are to give students opportunities to work together to develop socially and ethically.   Some strategies that will help to meet this goal include activities involving learning how to make inferences and predictions about texts, lessons aimed at learning how to identify main ideas, and creating projects to help with learning how to summarize what is read with the help of graphic organizers.  These are only a few of many techniques that can be used when teaching students how to strengthen their comprehension skills.

I envision a classroom that not only includes directed instruction in reading comprehension but also offers students opportunities to collaborate with their classmates during their learning.  It is also important to allow for independent reading in the classroom to assure that every student has the opportunity to read for pleasure.

Assessment goals

I would like to begin by stating that assessments are not just about giving out grades.  Assessments should be conducted routinely for the purpose of knowing how to help students reach academic success.  They should be designed with the purpose of targeting instruction.  If we include assessments in our daily schedule, we can know how to match our instruction using text that is relevant to the students’ needs.  Assessments are important for recording students’ learning and growth.  Without assessments, we cannot determine if a child is reading at or beyond their proper level nor could we know if there is a possible learning disability present.  Knowing how to place children depends heavily on our ability to create assessments in our every day practice. Every child deserves the right to an education that is ideal for them, and assessments make that possible.

Classroom assessments in reading should include lessons that allow students to activate their prior experiences, making them assessable during reading.  We can include tools such as graphic organizers to chart students’ ability to do things such as making predictions, asking questions, understanding the purposes of a text, and knowing how to determine the meaning of new vocabulary based on prior knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and roots.   Students should not be made to feel that each day in class is devoted to assessment of performance, but should see it as a way to reach their goals.  I aspire to teach lessons that include assessments that heighten the fun for students.  I believe that we can teach lessons that are enjoyable, rich, as well as challenging for our students.

My reading philosophy reflects my personality as a teacher who wants to help students succeed and leave my classroom as well rounded human beings.  I want my students to learn to appreciate a wide variety of literature and reading materials that will build on their prior knowledge as well as help them to move forward.   In an ever changing world with children from different spectrums of the world sitting side by side, we need to create a literacy-rich classroom that opens itself to diversity.  Our challenge is to welcome all learners and provide materials that are diverse.  Reading should be fun as well as informative and if I am to teach in today’s classroom, I need to take part in the globalization of knowledge and technology with the choices I make in my classroom so that my students will be literacy proficient.

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