Literacy History

Meghan Glidden

Childhood

My mother is a great reader and my brothers and I grew up listening to her read to us. She read books to us such as Bible stories, The Bernstein Bears, Tom Sawyer, Beatrix Potter, Caddie Woodlawn, Charlotte's Web, Black Stallion, and C.S. Lewis' The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is because of her that my love of literacy grew at such a young age. I could not get enough of books and read through them quickly once I learned how. We had library cards and went there weekly. In the summers I participated in the book clubs and reached the goal within a week or two. My mom would make her own goal for us, so we were challenged. By first grade I knew that I wanted to be a reading teacher when I was older. I would play teacher and even pretend to read books that I wasn't able to read. I credit my family with my love of literacy and my first experiences with reading and writing. I used to write letters to family and I kept a diary.


In school, I remember 3rd grade being a definitive year for language arts because we did a Flat Stanley project and a Willy Wonka project. They both kept me engaged and motivated. They are the reasons I create exciting projects that integrate reading and writing in my own classroom. In 4th grade I recall learning how to write stories and writing fiction stories on my own over the weekends. My writing teacher was hard on me, but it taught me to be critical of my own writing and to reevaluate and revise.

Teenage years

I excelled in middle school. I enjoyed 6th and 7th grade Language Arts immensely. These are some stories that I wrote at that time.


I began reading books such as The Babysitter's Club series, Star Wars series, Thoroughbred series, Beverly Cleary books, Nancy Drew series, and many others. I devoured books still at this age!


As I reached high school my interest in reading began to lessen. I read simply to pass a course and sometimes did not even read those. I remember I did not read the book, 1984, and still managed to make a B on that test. I did well in writing, making excellent grades on essays and reports. The books that I did read that saved me were Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings series. They revived my love of reading.

College

Freshman English was eye-opening as I did not take it seriously at first. I received my first low grade in writing. I was shocked and realized I couldn't scrape by with natural ability anymore. I had to use a thesaurus and dictionary, do research, and read many books by famous authors to get ideas and tips to deepen my own writing. My writing grew tremendously that year. It matured as did I. I am appreciative of the young TA who gave me a D on that essay because although he angered me, he taught me to not accept average as excellence and to continue to hone my craft.

Writing Teacher

I have taught writing for 9 years and specifically ELAR the last 6 years. I LOVE reading and writing. It is my passion and my strength. My entire life has led to this point and I am so blessed to be doing what I was made to do.


As an adult I read for pleasure and to further my skills as an ELAR teacher. I don't read as often as I'd like to thanks to Netflix and pure exhaustion everyday. I also write for pleasure. I mainly write text messages and emails, but also write thank you letters, stories for my students to model for them, and thoughts and prayers in a journal. Since I had my son 7 years ago, I have experienced numbness in my legs and hands. I have seen 20 doctors over the years and undergone numerous tests, but they have not reached a diagnosis. Writing by hand is at times painful and difficult without full function, so typing is my preferred form of communication. I am currently reading the latest Harry Potter book- The Cursed Child.

"It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish." J.R.R. Tolkien. The more opportunities we give to students to read and write, the more they will flourish.

Technology

We had a computer in the early 90's at our home. I played Wheel-of-Fortune and Oregon Trail on it, but when I typed documents, I used a typewriter. I have a Dell desktop in college, and a macbook after college. I bought it with my first Income Tax Return!


I consider myself knowledgeable about technology. I have an Iphone 6s and am up to date on all the apps that the students are using. I like to be aware of what they are talking about and they enjoy it when I'm able to join in conversations!


I use technology in my classroom daily. I have a smartboard, ipads, and laptops. We are a very fortunate campus! I use Google Classroom, the Google Drive for storing and collecting everything, and many apps for literacy stations. I use email throughout the day, professionally and personally. I have it on my phone so I answer emails daily. I think Google Drive has been the most enjoyable tool that I have learned to use, as it has the advantage of multiple people being able to type on a document at once. It helps make planning with other ELAR teachers easier. We are all able to type on a lesson plan at once and it goes quicker.

Critical Awareness

I have always considered myself a very analytical person. I tend to question everything and everyone- which is not always a strength!


I think especially when I read, I tend to natural question and consider perspectives. I am also an empathetic person that always considers other points of view.


When I read a Christian book for a bible study last fall, I questioned the author's content and intent throughout the book. I think as a reader, this is essential, as we need to always question and wonder. A person's point of view is not always 'fact' and should always be considered before you simply 'take their word for it.' I think this is where we gain our own opinions is by reading and having our own critical analysis of what we read.