Friday, March 28, 2014
SLICE #28- A LITTLE DISHEARTENED
There's a space at the top for the name. Underneath that, it says, "Over Spring Break, I am reading ________________." I want teachers to fill out the posters and hang them in the hall by their classrooms. I want our students to see their teachers as readers. I want us to model the idea that readers have ongoing plans.
I don't have any trouble thinking of titles for my own sign. First, I'm hoping to finish BOOK THIEF (I have had 75 pages to go since the weekend my mom had her medical issues). I also want to finish Cynthia Lord's newest, HALF A CHANCE, which I started last weekend. And I want to read BEHOLDING BEE, which has been overdue at the library for about two weeks now. Oh, and my book club is meeting on Wednesday, and I am supposed to read Sue Monk Kidd's INVENTION OF WINGS. And I should read TANGERINE, because the 7th graders at school will be reading that book when we get back from spring break. As far as professional reading, I've got Diane Ravitch's REIGN OF ERROR and Chris Lehman and Kate Robert's FALLING IN LOVE WITH CLOSE READING. That's seven books I want to read in the next nine days. I wonder how I will ever find time to clean my house, grade papers, or do my taxes.
I am surprised, then, when most of the people on my staff have trouble thinking of something they will read. In fact, less than half the teachers on my staff plan to read a book over Spring Vacation. Two are new moms and wonder whether they can count the board books they will read to their little ones. Several others mention newspapers or magazines. A few more say they might read a professional book or article.They fill out the posters half-heartedly. And only half actually get hung up, even after I put out an email thanking people for hanging them.
I leave the meeting feeling more than a little disheartened.
How can we ask kids to read for 20 or 30 minutes a night, if we don't commit to that same measly twenty minutes ourselves?
How can people recommend books to kids or run a successful readers' workshop if they aren't reading?
And maybe most importantly, how are we ever going to help kids become readers if we don't see the value of reading in our own lives?