Redefine Your Definition Of Reading!


Hello dear readers. I am asking you to redefine your definition of reading. As a Special Education Teacher, I have had to redefine it myself. Since I am a reader, I tried to make my students readers. Well, that just wasn’t realistic. While most of them did learn to love reading (Which was absolutely fantastic!), there were three of them who never would. I had Mild Mental Retardation (MMR), the other I suspected of having MMR, and the other was so frustrated with all of his years of not being able to read that he simply refused to pick up the habit.

I had to stop myself from getting depressed about the three that I failed. That’s when I thought about the 10/13 of my students who did become readers. That is no reason to get depressed. That is cause for celebration. Accomplishing something like that is absolutely phenomenal. I had high hopes that actually came true. Do you have any idea how that feels?

So, I rejoiced for the ten who successfully learned to love reading, while I made a plan for the ones who did not. I’d known about audio-books for awhile, but was loathe to do anything about it because it wasn’t “reading” as I saw it. I realized I had to rethink that definition. I know I can’t possibly save everyone, but I had to try other methods. I wasn’t going to just give up.

So I sat down and thought about my reading experiences, other people’s reading experiences and how they relate to reading. Another thing I realized from watching little children read is to let them pick their own books. That way they’ll “read” it without further prompting. So, not only did I change my “definition” of reading, but I expanded my understanding of reading.

Reading isn’t just looking at the words on the page. If that was the case then the visually impaired would not know how to “read”. So, I researched different methods of “reading”. Once you think about it, it’s so simple. Why didn’t I think of it sooner.

Instead of the traditional reading, children or adults can:

  • listen to audio-books,
  • watch the movie,
  • read comics,
  • have someone else read the book to them,
  • rebus (or picture reading),
  • educational video games,
  • reading of their own choosing, whether or not you agree with it.

The last one is one of the most important. Does it really matter that they’re reading comics? Ok, I do draw the line at an underage person “reading” Playboy/Playgirl. That’s a no-no. However, short of that, almost everything is fair game.

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you can think of anything to add to this list, please leave it in the comments or email me @ specialedandme@gmail.com

HERE’S TO 2010!

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