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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Policymakers, good readers don't chase test scores. They chase the honey through the pages

 A Dr. Turner moment of teaching and learning wisdom.

In the children's book "Thank You, Mr. Falker" Patrica Polacco writes these simple lines:
“Honey is sweet, and so is knowledge, but knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey; you have to chase it through the pages of a book.”
This book is Polacco's autobiographical story of her struggle with learning to read and dyslexia. She is a prolific writer, with many many children's books. Her book themes often carry powerful messages of hope, struggle, and quests for justice.
So when a child reads every one of her books on our Literacy Center shelves and asks: "Dr. Turner, if I read every single one of her books, can I win a medal, and will you wear a crazy hat and pirate outfit, and bow down to my reading powers?"  

"If you read all 24 books, that is 28 pages time 24 books that will be 672 pages. How could I not give a kid who reads 672 pages a gold medal? You do this I will wear whatever hat you want me to wear, and I will give you a gold medal, bow down to your super reading powers in the hallway where everyone can see us" 

This picture is a few years ago, but it could be any day in the last 20 years at our Literacy Center. Even in this pandemic crisis, 24 medals and certificates of accomplishment went out first class mail yesterday. This Monday, Dr. Turner will wear a silly hat, dress as a pirate, bow down to his children and Literacy Center Teachers, shouting out on Zoom their greatness. We don't celebrate test scores here. We celebrate hard work and our love of books.
Love of reading Wisdom 101:
Hint~policymakers, education reformers, and all you big time commissioners of education. Our children who love to read do not chase good test scores for grades. They chase honey through the pages of books.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director
AKA sometimes silly hat pirate

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today, its Barry Lane's Super teachers always know..."

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