Reflective Practice and Reading

A good morning starts with sunshine, coffee and a chance to read the news - The Guardian and The Independent from the UK, TechCrunch , The Universe Today and, of course the weather. Then it's over to the two literacy sites I read daily (Literacies Café and AlphaPlus) and my emails. On a really good morning it all happens before 7:00.

The other morning I was browsing the online newspapers, and I realized that, mostly, I was just reading headlines. Once in a while I'd click a full story open. But mostly I just skimmed the big words up top.

Is this how everybody reads the news - headline skimming in search of something interesting?

Probably. Maybe.

It struck me because I'd been worrying, wondering about my adult learner who read the newspaper headlines with me. I'd been getting all teacher-like and thinking "he should read the first paragraph" and "how good is this if he only reads headlines?" and "which article should I pick out for him to read the full way through?"

I swear, I don't know where all this anxious need-to-control comes from. In the present circumstance there are no funders, managers or employers to worry about. It's just me and a couple of guys who want help getting better at reading.

Anyway, the whole thing became moot last evening. I'd saved Wednesday's paper so we had Wednesday and Thursday's editions to work with, and he chose to read the funnies in both.

That took about 30 minutes - groaners and all - but he expressed satisfaction ("I was surprised that I got some of the words... it seemed easier this time for some of them") and I guess that's all that really matters.

As for me, I guess I still have trouble trusting learners, trusting the leaner-centered process, and that's something I can work on.

Scrutinizing my own reading habits and strategies helps with that.

That, too, is reflective practice.

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