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5 June 2020

posted 4 Jun 2020, 19:31 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 4 Jun 2020, 19:31 by Stephanie Williams ]
Poet David Whyte’s message to children ...... read, read, read..... is a clear one!

We echo his words and are keen to work hard and do our best to achieve the challenging target we set at the end of last year for 2020. To improve the number of children meeting or exceeding the New Zealand Curriculum by 20%.

We got off to a rip roaring start and then things changed and now we reboot! In saying this we are very mindful of the experiences our children had over Lockdown and many seem to have come back even more motivated and committed to/in their learning. This is a sentiment I’m hearing from many of my colleagues around the country too. There is something in the water!

Not all children find learning to read straight forward, however, not all teachers (and parents) can immediately find out why. It takes some experimenting and inquiry. In our jargon, it's known as a “puzzle of practice”. We have to keep going and leave no rock unturned in trying to get our starters moving through those colours more quickly and to extend our able readers to dizzy heights!

We have just invested just under $4k on Early Readers thanks to your Sausage Sizzling and Pizza Making and, when these treasures arrive, I’m sure the teachers and children will be excited! Nothing like the smell of a new book.

Whilst the building work is continuing, Christine, our Librarian, has been coming up with new ways to share good books through the Library Website. And, hopefully, our regular visits to Miramar Library will resume before too long - it’s also good exercise! Eventually, we will have a new Library/Research Centre/Creative Space in our current administration area. Until then, we need to keep working on building a reading culture ”It’s cool to read, kids”. Let’s try and limit too many choices sometimes at home too - “You can read, or I can read to you, or you can listen to an audio book and follow along - you are lucky, today the choice is yours!”

When you have your Zoom Catch Ups with Base Group teachers about your child/ren's progress, let’s come up with a good plan about what next. We really want these to be a 2-way chat, not a talking at you! Hopefully, this is what you feel like you experience. You know your child best - please help us understand them even better than we may now.

Dear Young Friend,

I wish. I wish, I wish, I wish; I wish I were in your shoes now, I wish I were standing where you are standing now, I would swap everything I have learned through my reading, I would swap my entire library of a thousand books, every journey and adventure I have taken through their pages, all the insights about the world and myself, all the laughter, the tragedy, the moments of shock and relief, all the books that have amazed me and that have made me reread them again and again, to be at the beginning as you are, so that I could read them all again for the very first time.

I wish, I wish, I wish I were in your place with all the books of the world waiting patiently for me. It would be so astonishing to come across Coleridge as a perfect stranger and hear his voice for the first time; I would love to know nothing about Shakespeare or Jane Austen, to be overwhelmed by the fact that there is a Rosalind, or an Elizabeth Bennett, or later, an Emily Dickinson, in this world, and then, and then to see my hand for the first time attempting to write even a little like they have, to follow them in shyness and trepidation and beautiful frustration, to walk through the incredible territory we call writing and reading and see it all again with new eyes.

I wish, I wish, I wish; I wish I were in your shoes, in a beautiful waiting to know, waiting to read, waiting to write, so that I could open the door and walk through all the books I have ever read or written as if I hadn’t. I wish, I wish, I wish; I wish I were in your shoes now.

Yours in anticipation,
David Whyte

Gorgeous, I thought!