Who developed Eager Readers?
Hello, my name is Tara Shaver and I am passionate about literacy learning! I am the teacher and developer of Eager Readers. I have a Master of Education in ESL (English as a Second Language) and a Bachelor of Education with concentrations in both Early Childhood and Reading. Originally from Canada, I have experience teaching in public and private schools—in Canada, USA, UK and Australia. This experience covers a wide range of roles, including:
– Reading Specialist (Kindergarten through Year 3)
– Reading Recovery Teacher (a one-to-one early intervention program for Year 1)
– Head of ESL (Kindergarten to Year 5)
– Class Teacher (Early Childhood, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2)
In addition to my teaching roles, I have led several parent workshops and staff development sessions on topics related to literacy development, ESL and mother tongue/first language development.
The Literacy Gap
After sending my own son to daycare, I recognised a need for classes aimed at supporting the literacy development of pre-schoolers in an explicit and systematic way. I could see that my son was already interested in letters, words, reading, text messaging, and list-making, but he wouldn’t be going to school for two more years for formal literacy instruction. Why wait for Kindergarten? Why not capitalise on our children’s early interest in reading and writing? Why wait to have our children become Eager Readers?
You might ask, what about pre-school? Early childhood (EC) teachers have the enormous task of attending to our children’s social, emotional, physical and general academic needs. In my opinion, most of these teachers do a wonderful job, including my son’s teachers. However, having been an EC teacher, myself, I believe there is simply not enough time in the day to focus on each child’s individual literacy development. I see this as a literacy gap between pre-school and formal schooling.
As such, I created a comprehensive series of lessons to target early literacy development, a program called Eager Readers. Eager Readers bridges the literacy gap. With just 30 minutes per week of instruction, plus support at home, my son and his peers can be equipped with the skills and confidence to cope with the ever-increasing academic demands of formal school and truly be ready for Kindergarten.