As a Junior in college, I've had plenty of exposure to reading educational texts. At this point, I know that there is not much of a chance of taking a college course without these texts. However, I have also grown to see the importance and relevance of many of these readings. Since most of my classes are specific to teaching, I really consider the information in the texts to be practical and beneficial. I've learned to view these texts as a tool for my teaching.
Although I do not have a classroom of my own, I still consider previous teaching experiences as well as any I am currently in when I read. Right now, I tutor at the Boys and Girls Club and consistently see students with academic difficulties. When I encounter these challenges, I usually rely on readings or discussions from classes to help these students. I've had the chance to implement strategies and suggestions from readings and many times have found them to be very helpful.
When I read, I usually try to imagine myself implementing the information from the text. Many times, these readings are over workshops, lessons, or strategies in the classroom. As I read, I try to imagine experiencing these as a student as well as in a teacher role. I have also had some exposure to working with students in special education, so when reading about certain disabilities, I imagine specific students to which the text applies. Many times, I can imagine certain characteristics being played out, which makes the information seem more relevant and true. When I can make the connection with my own experience, the text becomes more useful and practical to my life.
There is so much information in a text, especially one that is academic. I tend to focus on a specific aspect that seems most important. Usually I decide what is important based on what we are discussing in the class at the time, what is going on with my life, or what I want to focus on teaching in the future. For instance, if the class discussion will be about multiplication, I will most likely focus on how to implement this with upper grade levels. This is because I am teaching beginning multiplication at the 3rd grade level and I also would like to teach in the upper elementary level after college. However, if there is a reading on spelling or handwriting, I might pay particular attention to how to incorporate and encourage this in younger grades. This is because I have a lot of students that I tutor who need help in this area. I might focus on strategies that I can implement outside of the classroom. Overall, I try to imagine what is most practical at the time as well as what will be the biggest "take-away" point from the text in the future.