Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Give Up on Those Non-Readers

Imagine the following elementary or middle school student... a nice, polite, and respectful child filled with energy and creativity. He likes school, but he is just not real strong at it. He has average grades but weak literacy skills. However the student has a love for books. The youngster enjoys getting books at the library and of course ordering them through mail order book clubs (Scholastic). He has great intentions to read these books, but after reading for the smallest amount of time his mind is elsewhere. The book is put down with only sporadic and feeble attempts to complete the task at later times.

This was me, and it wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I actually completed my first chapter book. I was a late bloomer academically. Sometimes I think about the alternative route that I could have taken if I would have let my lack of academic skill guide my life. Fortunately there were various stakeholders in my life that keep challenging me to reach my potential. These stakeholders range from my grandfather (the original Dr. Quinn) to my parents and my teachers (many of them) to my college professors (especially Dr. Pat Scharer from The Ohio State University). However, I must give a shout out to the one that knew my path and helped place these stakeholders in my life, and that is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Right now I see my youngest son following step for step in my path. This great kid is so creative and has such a fun demeanor about him. However, his literacy skills are identical to mine at that age. I hear him read out loud or practice his spelling words and I just laugh, because I get it. I know exactly what he is thinking and how he is processing it. Each night I see him pick up a book to read just before bed, and then I peek in and see the book on the floor and a Lego magazine in his hand or an action figure rescuing some stuffed animal in his bed.

As an educator, I have many goals, but one is that I can help prepare pre-service teachers motivate and support all their students. For anyone who actually reads my blog, I challenge you to support and be patient with those individuals that struggle in school. God has a plan for them, and you may play a large role in that plan.

By the way you should see how many spelling errors I have when I first type a blog entry. I am able to catch a lot, but I also know there are some that I just cannot see... so thanks for your patience with me as well!

The photo above is part of a promotional for Taylor University put together by the admissions team. Click on it to find out a little more about me.

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sorry & Rating System

It has been nearly a month since my last entry, and I am sorry for that. My excuse is that I am teaching an overload this semester with one brand new class (so most of my reading has been for that class), I am co-leading a trip to the Dominican Republic in late March, and I have just started a new running club on campus. I know that everybody is busy, but I just had to use that as an excuse. Bottom line...I have been lazy with my reading.

However...I just picked up Jeff Kinney's newest book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The last Straw. I hope to read this in the next day or two, so I will post after I complete it.

Some texts for Notable Books in the Language Arts have started to arrive at my office. So as I read what I consider worthwhile texts, I''ll post them on the blog. To be fair I may not use my current rating system. However, if I come across a fantastic new book, I'll still give it some type of shout out. Otherwise, most books I post for a while will able be considered good reads.

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn