"Standards and mandates will come and go, but we have to be effective literacy teachers in spite of them." -Regie Routman Read, Write, Lead.
The above quote is from a fantastic book, which happened to be the core text for one of my Reading Specialist courses, Supervision and Staff Development, this semester. For a while I had been thinking that reading instruction, at least in my experience, had become too skill focused. This quote, and the book as a whole, reaffirmed my thinking and helped me to feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with colleagues and classmates. Rather than promoting a passion for literacy, I believe we are spending too much time focusing in on and teaching these skills. I want students to have a love for reading, and this love is cultivated by providing students time to read texts of their choice, teachers providing book talks and modeling reading, and providing instruction tailored to students' needs. Yes, students need to be able to identify the main idea of a passage, compare or contrast two texts, make inferences, and use story structure to write engaging pieces; however, I believe we need to look at the amount of time we're spending teaching these skills and make sure there's a balance.