When considering why I would be honored to be an English teacher, I reflect on how my own passion for reading and the English language began. It is very difficult for me to recall any period of time in my life that I was not surrounded by books. When I was four years old, my grandmother purchased a set of Serendipity books by Stephen Cosgrove for me. Nearly three decades later, I still own these books. They are one of my most valued possessions and the beginning of my personal library. Also, my grandmother kept me enrolled in the Scholastic Book Club, which kept me constantly looking forward to the next book. I can recall weekly trips to the public library with my mom. I remembered feeling so excited because there were so many books to chose from, then immediately afterwards I would feel such disappointment because I could only read one at a time. I always struggled to choose the “perfect” books to keep me entertained until the next week, lamenting that I couldn’t take them all home. These moments will stick with me forever and cultivated within me an attachment to books, reading and words that even time cannot dissipate. As an adult, reading is one of my favorite pastimes. There are few things more enjoyable to me than spending the day at the library or bookstore.
I am very grateful to those who nurtured my love affair with books, as I cannot imagine my life without the ability to read. I naively assumed that everyone enjoyed reading to some degree, even if they lacked the ability to become completely engrossed in a good story. I was disheartened to discover that not everyone loves to read. As a mentor/tutor, I have encountered children who aren’t in love with reading and some who have major difficulties grasping basic reading concepts. This is heartbreaking to me because I consider reading to be the foundation for all personal success. I have a sincere doubt in a person’s ability to be successful if they have not mastered basic concepts of literacy. When I encounter a child that has not mastered these concepts I see their future pass before my eyes, I feel an extreme sadness that I cannot ignore.
I am just as passionate about adult literacy as I am about child literacy. I was shown the impact that an adult has on the life of a child when I took a minute to view myself through the eyes of my nieces. I am helping to raise my nieces and I love them as if they were my own. I have always considered myself to be a good role model for them, but never took into consideration that these young ladies do exactly what they see me do. My youngest niece repeated something that I said once, when I asked her where she got that from, she looked up at me and gave me the biggest proudest smile and said “You!” At that very instant, I became even more careful about the things I say and do in their presence. In short, the point I am trying to make is that if adults are unable to read or just simply chose not to, then how can the children that look up to them learn to value its importance.
I can count on one hand the things that I am truly passionate about. I am absolutely certain that reading, learning new things and sharing acquired knowledge is highest on the list. While I may not be able to convert everyone I encounter into a passionate reader, I believe I can make great strides in assisting in the mastery of the basics of reading and reading comprehension. Who knows, along the way I may be able to plant the reading seed in the heart of someone, just as others did for me. I know that childhood and adult literacy is not a job that one person can handle alone but I would be honored to play my part in the enormous feat of increasing the number of adults and children that are avid readers and can firmly comprehend what they have read.
I can’t say that I was surprised that Michelle Obama looked wonderfully fabulous at the Time 100 Gala. I really find her sense of style refreshing and think its great that she always incorporates variety and appears fashionable without apparent effort. I’m so impressed that her outward apparel selections are always accessorized with her naturally graceful mannerisms. These things coupled with her intelligence, confidence and personality make her the total package.