First things first, this is an assignment. I know, I know. You came here for pictures of Ruby and her amigos, and now you're reading about what I'm doing at grad school. I promise it's related, and it has everything to do with my daughter.
My focus is elementary education, which means grades 1 through 5, and in today's educational environment, literacy is more important than ever before. Every single class has dealt with getting kids to read more, helping them improve their reading, or the best things for them to read. Every single one.
And before you ask, Ruby cannot read yet. She loves books, and she will sit and look at them by herself, but as far as I know she hasn't figured out how to read by the age of two and a half.
However, I find ways to bring up Ruby's fondness for books in almost every class. When her favorite story was The Little Engine That Could, she managed to commit the whole thing to memory. She knew every word by heart, and she also knew when to turn the pages as well as which words belonged to each individual picture. When I brought this up in a classroom, everybody was in agreement that this was the first step towards learning to read, and that her ability to memorize a story and recognize visual cues meant she was well on her way. I asked Jesse about it later, and she echoed everything we'd talked about in class. That convinced me.
As parents we hear that exposure to books is the best thing for your kids, but as a teacher I learned exactly how important that is.
During her little engine that could phase we read that book several times a day, every day. It was... taxing. I was ready to "lose" that book and never think about it again, and that would have been a mistake. Even if a child is only interested in a handful of books, that might actually be a good thing. So if I ever complain about how many times Ruby makes me read a children's book in your presence, please refer me back to my own blog post. Thanks!