1934 – ???
SHE SAT BESIDE OTHERS AND
HELPED THEM TO IMPROVE
Many years ago I wrote my own epitaph, the words by which I would like to be remembered. I discovered it recently when sorting through some old files. It’s much too long to be carved on a stone but to my surprise, I realized that it exactly states what I want reading coaches to do as they practice with readers who have failed to learn to read through conventional methods.
The key is not to ‘stand above’ and teach; but to ‘sit beside’ and share. To simply relax together over reading material that is interesting and that sparks intelligent dialogue around juicy words and ideas.
Both coach and learner gain confidence as they engage in this new way to practice together. It is an apprenticeship model with no exercises to do or things to memorize. Coaches simply show how to break habits that keep struggling readers confused and unable to read fluently and with understanding.
The epitaph is a statement of how reading coaches will be remembered by those who discover the joy of reading through their efforts. My vision is to send a reading virus around the world by infecting everyone who can read with the know-how to help someone who can’t.