Do you see that pendulum swinging back and forth? Slowly but surely it swings between a whole language approach and phonics with educators sitting on the edge of their seat begging, how do I teach literacy today?
I know it's not quite as simple as this. Last night while reading about literacy I realized that whole language approaches do incorporate literacy, and I think back to my own whole-language approach with a little bit of phonics in the mix. I took a class on literacy in college. We dissected children's books, looked at emergent literacy (especially in progressive education), and I personally examined educational television and its effect on literacy. I observed students, took notes on Sesame Streets, and reread Brown Bear Brown Bear over and over.
None of these experiences will compare to stepping into the classroom on day one and teaching real children, who really need my help, how to read. As much as a learn about phonemes, morphemes, consonant blends, and digraphs nothing will compare to a child looking at me confused with the words in front of them. A child will not use the literacy terminology I so pride myself on knowing. How do I make that connection between my studies and the real world?
I have yet to find an answer to that question. I think I'll probably have to wait till September. So I keep studying different word families, consonant blends, and rereading my favorite children's books looking forward to applying it in the real world.