“Mom? Book?” [My two-year old suddenly chooses a book for me]. “There you go.”
[Walks over to the sofa and pats on a cushion] “Sit. Sit.” [I sit]. “You’re welcome.”
[Settles on the other side of the sofa with his library Lightning McQueen book].
A short time later, he also carefully arranges his stuffed fish with its own book about whales.
His self-satisfaction is palpable.
Though literacy development has been of particular interest to me as a teacher, this exchange was just the latest in a long string of surprises in my teacher-parent-table-turning saga. One might expect that a teacher would always be anticipating and orchestrating the “next steps” in their own children’s academic growth. But the truth is, it blows my mind on a daily basis to witness the juxtaposition of what I think I know as a professional with my kids’ applications with the realities of daily life.
For instance, I knew that parents modeling reading for pleasure is essential for literacy development.
I knew that providing an abundance of books is important to provide my children with the access they need.
I knew that library books are key in providing that access (I actually counted the books in our house after reading the above-linked article, and I know that if my family depended on our book budget alone, we’d be in trouble).
But I didn’t know how quickly the busyness of life can overtake these practices.
I didn’t know just how much of an impact even our imperfect practices can have on our young children.
And I didn’t know how exceptionally
dictatorial assertive my toddler could be when it comes to books.
So even though I should be the all-knowing teacher/mom taking the lead on all things involving academic development, it’s clear that this has already become a shared, symbiotic kind of culture. Truth be told, I think I like it better that way. And I looking forward to that application with future students.
By the way–the book he picked for me? It was was actually one I’d been meaning to read for a couple of weeks, but hadn’t yet gotten to. Thanks to him, I got just the jump-start I needed.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto
Come back next Wednesday for another “#TeacherMom” post. Read here for the rest of my weekly blogging topic schedule/background.