“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”
- Logan Pearsall Smith
We all have a few school teachers to whom we owe a lot. One of mine is Mrs K, my Grade One teacher. Mrs K taught me how to read, and as far as I’m concerned, there is no more valuable skill for a six-year-old to learn than reading.
We learned phonetics (these were the days before Whole Language), and I’ll never forget the time Mrs K held up a flash card, green it was, with six letters printed on it, a word I hadn’t read before. I squinted and wondered about the l that sat next to the d at the end of the word. I thought about that week’s reading lesson, something about silent-l’s. Then, bam, it hit me:
The word was should.
I’ll never forget that moment of pure discovery, the triumph of reading a new word.
Mrs K encouraged us to read quietly at our desks and aloud to the class. I loved it, and would throw myself into whatever Dick and Jane were up to. Before long I moved on to Nancy Drew, the Famous Five and the Narnia gang, largely by the light of my flashlight under the covers at night (not that my parents minded, really). I was hooked.
In large measure I owe my lifelong addiction to the written word to Mrs K. I’ll never forget her.