Just like any other teacher, I have teaching philosophy. These are sets of underlying beliefs and convictions that guides my day to day activities and dealings in the classroom. Most of which are born out of experience.
One of such convictions I have is that, “Anyone who can read and understand is capable of leaning and learning on their own with little or no assistance.”
Teaching the child to read especially at at earlier stages is very key to making them strong successful independent learners in future.
To me, teachers and parents should stop bombarding children with too many contents and facts when they can’t even identify letters of the alphabet or simple words.
It sadens my heart to see students in our upper primaries, Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools who cannot read. Every adult who claims to care about them puts pressure on them to learn. How on Earth do we expect them to do that when they can hardly identify letters, sounds and words?
Remember; Sitting by a book and staring at the print is not synonymous to learning.
Also, being able to recite a story or paragraph from a page because you have read or heard someone read it to you several times is not reading.
What is the point if on can recite “The” in the other page but cannot identify it when it’s used in a different paragraph? That’s obviously not reading.
I quiet remember, when I was in classes two, three and four, recitation of stories was a survival skill. When my colleagues are reading, I listened and memorize and pour it out when it’s my turn to read in order to avoid cane.
Extract a word from the same paragraph I just recited for me to mention and watch me watch your face forever. I have no clue what sounds the letters stand for let alone know how to put them together to make words.
My class five teacher was my savior. He didn’t care we were in class five, a class that we were to be considered as people who should be able to read. He came down to my level. He started from the very beginning. He thought us the sounds of the alphabets, how to blend it to form sylables and words and viola. .. I picked it up
I got to realize that, the printed words I used to see in the book like a vast land without demarcation actually can be separated into letters which comes with unique sounds to form syllables, words sentence and paragraphs.
Since then, I developed the love for reading materials especially the ones we’ve not read in class yet. Before this exposure, I could only recite the ones we read over and over in class.
There’s this old adage that, “if you give a man a fish, he would have a single meal but if you teach him how to fish, he would feed his entire community with fish”
When I became ba teacher, I was fislrst teaching in JHS until I was transferred to another school. When I was first made to teach class three, I brought the JHS standards with me. But later, I saw myself in them. So, I started teaching them the way I wish I was taught back then and the result was wonderful.
If you are a parent or teacher make sure to teach your children the principles of reading first. Don’t just tell them to go and take their books and learn. They will only go, take the book and staring at the pages and be wasting their time pretending to be reading only when you are around.
Heads and other supervisors should reduce the demand for exercises as work output from teachers and start demanding for the number of children that can read. With that, our work would be made easy and we would achieve the standards we’ve always wanted.
Read another interesting post on teaching philosophy The KG student who refused to enter class because of broken heart.
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✍️ Hon. Jerry Akporhor_Founder and Lead Educator_Informed Teachers Network