This past week I overheard something that didn’t sit very well with me. I work at a daycare in the city and it is the routine that, after any meal or snack the children need to clean up their spot and go to the library centre to read books until everyone is done eating. When everyone is finished they can put their books away and go play whatever they like. I normally work with the older children, but they were still in school so I was in the area with the younger children and, as per usual, they were not reading books but running around and playing with toys. The teachers asked the children to go to the library centre a few times, but it didn’t make much of a difference. Then one of the teachers told the children that because they weren’t listening she was going to read aloud to them all. If they listened well she would only read two books, but if they were misbehaving she would read a lot more.
At first, it seems to be an effective way to calm the children down and get them to behave because they obviously don’t like to read very much. However, this is not the right approach to the situation in my opinion. I have always loved reading books and it is one of my goals to foster a love of reading in my future students. By telling the children at the daycare that if they behave they will not need to read a lot of books, the children begin to view reading as a punishment. This is not conducive to instilling a love of reading in them.