Slice of Life Story- Being Joyfully Literate

Every day when I enter the classroom I carry with me the words of educator and author, Regie Routman. It was from Regie I got the magic words  that as teachers we need to be 'joyfully literate' I have lost count of the number of times I have uttered those words over the years, in my work as a consultant and coach. Teaching in part is a performance art. We emit messages about where we stand as readers and writers each time we find ourselves in front of a group of students. Kids know if we are genuine with our utterances regarding the importance of literacy. Every day it is more important to  act out 'show don't tell' when it comes to sharing the joy of being a literate being.  

Today I found myself reading one of my all time favourite poems, Michael Rosen's 'Chocolate Cake.' I love presenting this poem for numerous reasons -the humour, the connection to childhood, Rosen's wonderful words, the atypical structure of the poem.  For me, it is  an absolute pleasure each and every time I launch into the reading. I look at the faces of children seated before me, and the spark of delight I witness, drives me to provide the most animated reading I can possibly give. It is for me, an absolute buzz to be able to share this moment with such an appreciative audience. By the end of the reading they are hanging on every single word. They laugh, they smile, they imagine. This is my reward. They want more.  

I began teaching the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I am immensely proud of the fact that I retain the same enthusiasm for teaching I possessed when I entered the profession all those years ago. Teaching is too important to be anything less than joyfully literate. Regie, you are absolutely spot on with your message. 


  1. I agree! A person can't fake enthusiasm for books. I have tried and failed. WHen I am genuinely excited about books, my students often take on that same attitude. I love Regie Routman.

  2. Katie Wood Ray would call Regie your "co-teacher" today. Thanks for reminding us of this special author.


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