Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Dear Early Childhood Literacy Educator:

I have been a librarian for 25 years. I have done hundreds if not thousands of story hours.
That doesn't mean I can't learn something new. Far from it, I learn something new every time I do story hours!

So since everyone is gabbling about Early Literacy, and "literacy components" and all the rest, I hopped on the train and signed up for your course.

And I haven't wanted to drop something this much since I had to take Statistics in graduate school.

I understand the value of your work. I understand the science behind your analysis of literacy components. There is lots of stuff in it that is worth passing on to the parents and caregivers who come to my story times.

But I don't want to sit there and analyze how I would use the inane book you have chosen to work on "Phonological Awareness" or "Vocabulary" or "Print Awareness" with my kids at story time.

I don't want to stop and underline the rhyming words, or clap out syllables or play "I Spy" with the pictures.
I DO want to read the book and let the kids finish the sentence, or comment on what they see in the pictures.

I don't want to explain the differences in words, or talk about the meanings of new words unless the kids ask.I don't want to write our nursery rhymes on flipcharts and run my finger under the words as I read them. That's what my incredibly-old-fashioned-even-for-1967-1st grade teacher used to do!

I want to just read the books, and let the kids take the lead in responding to them. I want to sing the songs and tell the stories. I want the kids to sing along, play along and have fun!

And I want their parents to go home and do the same. Lots and lots of reading and singing and playing and drawing.I want them to know WHY this is so good for their kids.

 But I don't want to turn it into earnest education.I want it to bring them joy so they'll do it even more!

And there's nothing in your course about that, is there?

So I'll read the handouts, but I'm not doing the assignments. This isn't for credit and I don't really care if I get a certificate or not.I just wanted something to pass on to my patrons.

And the thing is, I think I have that already.

So now I'll get back to planning the last 3 programs I have to do this week--I've done 5 already.

See you next week at PLA. I'll be the one scoffing in the back at any sessions where you are giving your expert opinions............

The Library Lady

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