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My Literacy

By Liam McManus

As such, in first grade, the school


thought I had a low literacy level and
placed me in a reading class. They
discovered that my inability to read and
answer questions was not due to lack of
skill, but as they called it, laziness.
Once they assessed my actual level,
they took me out of the reading class
after a month or two, which was spent
motivating me. For each book I read I
received some sort of small reward
such as cool pencils, small toys. My
parents continued the effort spent,
reward given at home for both school
and chores for a time.
My literacy development began as soon
as my parents began to read to me. It was not until sixth grade that I found
While I do not remember my parents the true joy in reading for pleasure. One
reading to me, they assure me that I day, I got a fight with another student
often requested that they read one of that resulted in me getting two weeks
my favorite books: Dinosaur James. worth of lunch detention. During these
two weeks, I was told I could read
My earliest memories that I can recall books. I had never bothered picking it
that truly developed my literacy was not up until then, but I was gifted the first
through reading books but by reading in Harry Potter book. I devoured it. It
video games. Particularly, when I was sparked a love of reading in me that
around four or five years old, my dad has never leftall due to one of my
got me my first Game Boy Color, and favorite book series. From that point
my first game, Pokemon Yellow. It was onward, I was always taking books out
a whole new world for me, and I from the school and public libraries. My
relished the chance to ask whatever class grades increased overtime and
adult was near what certain words became a higher performing student.
meant so that I may progress in the
story. As I delved deeper within my books
and school work, I became more shy
In most of elementary school, I deigned and introverted. One type of literacy
not to read books for fun or outside of that was hardly scratched was my oral
class (or even in class)it was all literacy, to me, the ability to orate my
Game Boy or computer games. thoughts concisely and coherently
My Literacy, contd.
As I delved deeper within my books One example assignment from that class
and school work, I became more shy was to simply choose an image and write a
and introverted. One type of literacy story about it. I chose a scenic image from a
that was hardly scratched was my oral video game and ended up writing like I
literacy, to me, the ability to orate my never wrote before; this assignment helped
thoughts concisely and coherently. It me plan my writing better, and develop it
took until a twelfth grade law class for with rich details.
me to be alone in front of other and give In college, all these skills continued to grow,
a presentation. I was so nervous. My but none more than learning to annotate and
legs were shaking the entire time, my engage in texts. Furthermore, especially in
voice faltering, I read straight from my history classes, my writing improved in
essay. After this however, it was all organization and analysis, due to, I think, a
uphill. I had to do this several times for specific focus on historical skills.
that class, and because the teacher
supported a safe and trusting My experiences have shaped how I
environment among myself and my approach various facets of literacy in my
peers, my confidence grew. own life and in teaching. In my own life, I
continue, time allowing, to read for fun and
My written literacy was usually be a reflective reader; I mostly stick to my
assessed as average to above average roots when reading for funfantasy and
for most of my secondary school career. science fiction, despite my interest in history.
During tenth grade, I think I really Which leads me to how my experiences
improved due to several teachers. One, influence my pedagogy. Firstly, I like to
my Social Studies teacher, made consider the various literacies my students
learning and writing a fun and engaging bring to the classroom and offer an array of
processeven DBQ writing. This was readings and activities that might interest
one of the first times I felt I received them. They could be class materials and
regular essay/DBQ like assignments assignments thats appeal to different types
that allowed me to develop my skills. of learners, or even suggestions through
Another teacher taught an English informal conversations. Next, I would like to
elective called Writing at the impart on my students content specific skills
Threshold. There was a creative writing that are also, at times, applicable to other
unit, and she posed amazing prompts content areas and facets in life. Finally, I
that elicited something in me I thought I would like for my student to gain experience
never had. While I never continued to with skills such as public speaking,
develop my creative writing skills past collaboration, and technology to better
high school, I though it contributed prepare them for college and for life.
greatly to my writing ability.