Ramona Is My Hero and The One Where I Ask You For Help

One of the best parts of being a teacher is my daily read aloud. For at least 10 minutes every day I get to connect with my students through what teachers call a “shared book experience” – one which creates a sense of community, fosters a love of the written word and helps my students become better readers through teacher modeling.

We laugh, we cry, we always ask for another chapter…

But enough about them, let’s talk about me. 

I read to my students because I love it. It feels good to share something with them that I love so much. Seeing their little faces light up and watching them lean towards me as they fall into the story sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Everyday during this one special time, I think to myself, I can’t believe they pay me for this.

Often I’ve wondered if anyone else experiences this feeling and yesterday one of my dear friends posted an advertisement for the library looking for volunteers and she claimed she’d “mow people down to have a chance at being a pre-school storytime reader. ”

Exactly.

So how exactly did I develop my love of reading? 

Was it watching my mom and dad read at home?

Honestly I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my nose buried in a book.

Growing up, I was obsessed with Ramona Quimby. During my second and third grade years my teacher, Mrs. Meloncon {love her!}, encouraged us to read for pleasure and she read out loud to us every day. We’d crowd on floor around her feet {seeing, of course, who could be closest} and quiet down and listen carefully.

Was it her who introduced us to this naughty little girl and all the deliciousness of a good book?

My best friends, Vicki and Karla, and I would race to the library each week trying to get our hands on Ramona’s latest adventures around her Northeast Klickitat Street neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. We traded books back and forth and wiped the public library shelves clean. It would seem, we couldn’t get enough.

Ramona the Pest, Beezus and Ramona, Ramona The Brave, Ramona and Her Father… always with the likable little pesky sister. Oh wait! Maybe that’s why we loved Ramona! We saw ourselves in her. Little girls trying to follow our inner voices while sometimes getting our feelings hurt and sometimes hurting other people’s feelings. Making mistakes and sometimes getting into trouble.

I love Ramona to this day. A couple of Halloween’s ago, I even dressed as Ramona and all the women at the party I attended that night told me about their deep love of the sometimes trouble-maker, Ramona.

So dear readers, this year I am without a class to read aloud to. This year I will be reading to my baby girl, Ruby. It’s my sincerest hope I am able to pass on my love of reading to our new daughter.

Do you read to your kids/students? Do you have any tips to share for reading with babies? Any favorite books?