Along with being an early childhood educator, I’m also a mommy to a 2 year old girl. Miss H and I began to explore library storytimes this summer. We are lucky enough to live within 2 miles of 3 libraries, so we decided to try them all. At two of the libraries we attended the ages 2-5 storytime, and at one we attended the birth-2 1/2 storytime.
The leader of one of the 2-5 storytimes was the most appropriate – she sang songs, did fingerplays, and integrated book reading in between. Her shared reading skills were good, and she followed the children’s cues and sometimes switched from book to music and movement if she felt the children needed it. And she respectfully spoke to the children. Hooray for her!
With that being said, I was shocked at how unaware the other two leaders were about how to read to young children. Or even how to engage them in literacy experiences.The leader of the birth-2 1/2 year old storytime STOOD the entire time and held the books over the babies’ heads. She brought out some materials to add to her storytelling, but only showed the children and then put them on a shelf behind her. The children weren’t allowed to touch them, let alone get close enough to see them. The leader of the other 2-5 storytime did more storytelling than reading, but her stories were WAY too detailed and above the head of the kids. When she did read or use materials in a retell, if the children stood up to see better she told them to sit down. She ended with an “art project” that was 95% parent work and 5% kid work. Overall, these 2 leaders were losing such an amazing opportunity with an equally amazing age group of children.
So now I’m trying to decide if I should just move on or do something to help these two leaders make the most out of the gift they’ve been given – 30 minutes to read and engage young children. I do plan to tell the first leader how happy I was with her storytime.
What are your thoughts? Have you attended “good” or “bad” storytimes? Do you want to know whether they were appropriate for the age of the children?