When I taught in public schools in the early to mid 90's, my favorite year was the year I taught 3rd grade. Those kids were great. They were already readers, but they were still young enough to be excited about activities I had planned.
The most frustrating grade level was 2nd grade. Half of the kids were readers and half were nonreaders.
At the end of every school year, we received our teaching assignments for the following year. The school where I taught thought it was healthy to move teachers from one grade to another every year.
One year, I suspected that my new teaching assignment would be in 1st grade. I went to the principal and begged him to not put me in a 1st grade classroom. Why? I did not want to teach phonics. I loathe phonics. The word phonics is not spelled phonetically. What's up with that?
This morning I came across two YouTube videos with possible explanations as to why I have such a dislike for the subject.
Found this one at A Peaceful Day this morning. I think it really drives home the need to teach a love of books. When children love books, they will have a desire to learn to read. I love this stuff.