Friday, January 16, 2015

I don't know which door it is?

"I don't know what door it is," she said in a panicked voice.  I bolted out of my chair and hurried her to the right door.  I knew part of what she was feeling; although, clearly, I cannot remember not knowing which door to use.  Those of us who have been reading for a long, long time can forget how it must feel to need to be able to manipulate a world managed by print and not-yet-be-able to read.

There are adults and kids alike, sometimes new to our land, sometimes visitors, and those who are not-yet-literate who experience that panic many times, every day.  I was reminded as I looked at her eyes, bulging out of her face, and heard her voice, filled with fear of an losing control, how scary our world must be for ANYONE (kids and sadly some adults, too) who have not yet broken the print code.

Learning to read has posed big challenges for this little one; however, yesterday we learned that even though those rooms are often near each other, the letters GIRLS on the door means a bathroom designated for girls. We put the word on her word ring along with go, I, see and cat.

Then, I printed a universally acceptable sign to help all the little ones who do not yet read when they are in my hallway in my school.  I should have noticed the need long ago.  I should have put up a sign long ago.  I am reminded that teachers, all of us, need to think about what our kids need to manipulate their world!  I am reminded we should try to "walk a mile" in their moccasins (or sneakers).


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