I am Erin Grace Gordon, an elementary school literacy coach, teacher, consultant, and parent of two young children.
I spend a lot of time thinking about reading, writing and the need for joy to be a part of those processes, particularly for our youngest children. No, it’s not always joyful to pick up an article that you “have” to read or to sit in front a blank page or screen completing an assignment for a class or meeting a deadline for work, BUT… without having joyful reading and writing experiences to draw from, to associate with, our persistence and ability to endure those less joyful ones would be quite minimal.
My goal as an educator and parent is to bring joy, excitement, positivity and possibility to the work of young readers and writers. I believe that with these hopeful and fruitful experiences, we prepare children to read and write without abandon. They will have the stamina, capacity, and persistence to utilize the skills they’ve developed and the literate language and craft they’ve amassed even when the work is not totally on their terms.
I believe that it is the job of adults to foster a positive, joyful relationship for children with reading and writing. In the face of a society that too readily uses the language of “push”, “move forward”, and “climb higher” when speaking about the education of children, I preach a different message. Let’s support children. Let’s relish in where they are right now, not where we (or someone else) wants them to be tomorrow. Let’s read with children, share stories with children, engage with children, and show children what it means to be readers and writers ourselves. With deep, authentic, relevant work as readers and writers, children will grow; they will move; they will access more sophisticated ideas and materials. There is so much to explore, let’s give children the time and support they need to explore and to enjoy it!
You can also follow and check out, engaging readers, my site for families.