What influences have you had in your life that you have transferred to the life of your children and their education?
I have always seen my parents reading. They both have no qualifications, but they still loved to read. I have been brought up in an environment that despite my parents’ level of education, they still insisted on my brother and me that we succeed. This helped me to pass on my passion for school and books to my son. Till the age of 10, he used to read a large variety of books but as he started growing up, he started to prefer gadgets rather than books!
With high importance placed on literacy for a child’s educational development, what aspects of reading to a child do you think is most important?
I think that it is important to start reading to our children at a very early age. Reading has so many benefits; they expand knowledge, they get accustomed to books, they get more curious, get into a healthy routine if reading takes place at a particular time of the day. The more genres one exposes their child, the more knowledgeable they become.
What particular book genre do you believe are lacking in the 5-10y year-old age bracket?
From my experience books are very restricted in the Maltese language. With regards to English, I never found any problems in finding appropriate books for my son.
What tips or recommendations would you give to parents if their child has no interest in reading?
Never buy books for your children. Take them with you and let them choose. If in your opinion the book they chose is not appropriate, deal with them and offer them appropriate choices. Read with them, you can take a role in the book. You can also have a designated place for reading, a particular corner in the house, on the roof, in the garden, in a tent, anything. The most important thing is that you make it fun!
How did motherhood change the way you viewed the importance of education?
I resumed my studies when I became 40 years old, and I am still doing so. Sometimes it gets overwhelming taking care of the family, the house, studying, and working full time. I always tell my son to take me as an example and realise that the more you grow up, the harder it gets to succeed because you have more responsibilities. I remember when I was his age, I was very passive so I can understand him, but I still do my best to see him succeed.
What is the one thing you would like to see implemented in schools today?
Differentiated learning. Unfortunately, we have a system where we talk so much about inclusion but, we lack an inclusive environment. The ideal system would be a student-centred approach because every individual has their way of learning and expressing themselves. In my opinion, although new systems are being implemented, we are still a long way from inclusion. I am very passionate about my work, so I would love to work in an inclusive environment where there are no barriers for any student because every student has the right to have a positive and welcoming learning experience.
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