My Mom is the reason why I am a reader and a writer. She’s the one who introduced me to books and the joy of reading. She’s the one who spent hours reading to me. When she couldn’t read to me because she was at work, she recorded herself reading so that I could listen and follow along. She took me on countless trips to the public library and made sure that we always had books in our home. When she went shopping, she always returned with tools that I could use to write-pens, pencils, markers, crayons, paper, blank books…the list could go on and on. I always had access to writing materials and was encouraged to use them. Mom always found time to play games with me, and often those games encouraged my learning. I remember one game where Mom wrote down a word and then we tried to see how many little words we could find in that bigger word. No matter how busy she was, Mom always made time for me. I also remember how she used to spell things (if there was something that she needed to tell someone something that I didn’t need to know) and how I learned to spell as a result (because I was nosy and wanted to know what the adults were really talking about).
Things didn’t change as I got older. I have drafted her to read so many papers and she has listened to me practice giving presentations over the years. She has volunteered to be my guinea pig when I’ve practiced giving literacy assessments and when I’ve tried out lesson ideas. During my undergrad classes, I remember one time when I had to practice using the Directed Reading Thinking Activity and she was my “student.” Another time, during my Master’s program, I needed to practice administering and scoring Ganske’s Developmental Spelling Assessment. Again, Mom was willing to help. That help has continued through my doctoral work.
My Mom is my literacy hero and every day, I am thankful for the influence and impact that my Mom has on my life. I am incredibly blessed.