Typically, Eduflack looks at education issues through a policy or a reform or a communications lens. But I’m also fortunate enough to be parent. A parent of a first and a second grader.
Last week was Back to School night at the kiddos’ school. One of the most refreshing documents I’ve seen in quite a while came from my daughter’s first grade teacher (a “boy teacher,” she keeps reminding me). In preparing parents for how they can support their children’s path to reading, he offered the following letter:
“Der Parints,Az ur child brings hom riting 4 the frst tim, doo not b srprizd at the spelling. The inglish langwij iz a confuzing langwiz 2 lrn. Insisting that stoodents uz ‘correct’ spelling nhibits thair dzir and abilite 2 rit. We aftn uz ‘phonetic’ speling in r wrk.Az parints, u can hlp ur child bi praising awl thair riting. Let ur child red thair riting 2 u. Displa thair riting around ur hows. No that az ur child bcums fumilyr with the inglish langwij throo reding and riting, he or she wil mak the tranzishun to ‘correct’ speling.Thank u 4 ur suport,”
Kudos to my daughter’s teacher and all of the other educators out there who help in this way. While such a letter may confuse some parents, it is just the sort of focus we all need to remember the reading and writing process, to support a phonics-based instructional approach, and to ensure our children become strong readers and writers.