|FOR THE LOVE OF READING|
For the love of reading.
It’s not a word I use lightly. I mean, when I say I love something, it means I really love it.
(Okay, so I suppose I don’t really “love” pizza, but it’s really, really close).
So when I say I love reading, I really do. At the core of my being I love reading. This love; this need to be engaged in reading, to be close to reading, to understand reading started at an early age. And I have proof.
My grandmother was a teacher. She inscribed every book she ever gifted to me with a similar message. “To my dear Suzie…”
My grandmother’s love for reading leapt out of every book she gave me. Her love for me lead the way. It lead me to my love of everything reading.
Teaching a child to read.
Teaching a teacher to be a teacher of reading.
Talking about reading.
Laughing with children while reading.
Crying with a book.
Feeling so much love.
And, now, crying about the loss of love as an attribute of reading in classrooms today.
Reading would not exist in the absence of emotion. Love being an important one. A child must love books, love to read, in order to be a reader. A lifelong reader. If a child does not embrace reading and love it, he will not read.
She will not read.
Hence, the crying. The heartbreak.
I write this blog because someone taught me to love to read. It has transformed my life and created a passion in me bigger than most everything in my life. Sometimes it makes me angry that I love it so much. It makes me want to break up with reading.
“I don’t care anymore,” I say. “I want to be a yoga instructor. Because I don’t care about Reading. I am done thinking about Reading and talking about Reading. I am done with everything Reading!”
(It’s true, ask my husband. It happens a couple times a year).
But the reality is, reading is here to stay. It’s part of my heart. My grandma helped put it right there. Right in the middle.
So when I watch teachers and schools go through the process of teaching students to read as though it is a procedure, I cringe. When I see teachers reading a script to teach a child to read, I whimper. My heart breaks when I see reading instruction reduced to something it was never meant to be.
If you are not using beautiful, favorite books to teach reading, you are not teaching students to be readers and to love reading.
If phonics is the only way you teach reading, you are not teaching students to be readers and to love reading.
If you are using a script to teach reading, you are not teaching students that you love reading so that they will want to be readers.
If the joy of reading, the love of reading, is not clearly evident in your classroom everyday, you are not teaching students to be readers: readers who love reading.
I promise- it is possible. We can teach students to be readers and to love reading, even in the world of Common Core. We can use beautiful books to engage students in the joy and the love of reading. We need to.
We can do it. We can do it together. (Thanks, Grandma.)
3/5/2015 09:44:25 pm
Love this Suzanne!
3/6/2015 01:13:53 pm
Such a beautiful post Suz! More please!
3/6/2015 02:01:09 pm
Your words are so true for today's classrooms! You passed on your love and inspire me!
3/7/2015 12:47:52 am
great idea a blog to share! Love what you wrote. Parents are such a huge piece of this
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I have been lucky enough to have wonderful life experiences in the world of literacy education. I love to learn and talk about learning. Join me. Let's learn together.