March 16, 2004
Yesterday I sent in the form ...

Yesterday morning I sent the form in saying I would like to contribute to this enterprise. One of the reasons I did this was that I was about to meet up again with a dear friend who knew that I had been meaning to do this for some time now, and who I knew would at some point ask me if I had done this. I wanted to be able to say yes, and today I was able to do that.

This friend also asked me: what is the absolute most important thing to teach a child? I said: reading. Not writing, nor arithmetic. If you can read, you have a chance of learning how to write, or how to arithmetise (?). Learning how to write is meaningless if you can't read, and learning how to add and subtract (probably a better way to turn arithmetic into a verb) won't help you learn to read. So: reading. Reading opens the door of civilisation. Not being able to read keeps that door firmly shut. A little bit of help to a child at an early age can make a lot of difference, I think, which is what I put on the form as my reason for volunteering.

Me becoming a reading helper is bound to make this a more interesting blog to read, once this process gets under way (assuming that these people can find a use for me). I will keep you informed of progress, as and when it materialises. Expect no names of people, places or institutions (other than the one I have just linked to). But I for one, expect to learn a great deal about the state of education by becoming the lowest form of teaching life now in existence, and about whether I may ever be able to make myself into some kind of seriously effective educator.

As a first step, I much prefer this to picking some sort of training course, with a pin.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:27 PM
Category: Brian's brilliant teaching careerLiteracy