I worried that I would be leaving behind one of my favorite aspects of teaching when I switched to my new position in special ed. I LOVE read alouds. I love doing the voices for the characters and making my voice reflect the excitement and emotion of the books. Most of all I love the kids' genuine joy toward the literature. The giggles for Big Anthony's antics, the horror in their eyes when Lily insults her teacher, and the cheers when Mean Jean turns nice. Read alouds are an experience that build community and set a tone for the day. I was so worried that I'd be leaving behind these great events.
Now I'm still immersed in children's literature, but in a different way. It's no longer me performing for a group of six year olds. Now I'm sharing a book with one or two children. My bff loves certain books and I get to spend hours pouring over the pictures with him, repeating certain phrases, and giggling over the silly mouse's antics. We whisper every time we get to the bear's cave in Going on a Bear Hunt, and we pretend to sleep every time the mouse takes a nap. It's a delight to become so engrossed in a book with a child. It's a whole new literature experience.
Then there are the books I read to small groups for a reason. We had a rough morning so in afternoon group we read When Sophie Gets Really, Really Angry. Or if we want to talk about different emotions we read Today I Feel Silly. We become totally immersed in the literature. The books are guiding us, connecting us, and moving us toward understanding ourselves.
While I miss whole group read alouds I'm selfishly enjoying these new kid-led literature experiences.