11.16.2010

reading is fun!

Today an elementary class was in the library at the same time as one of my freshman classes. I sat watching the group of 8-year olds as they rushed for stacks of books, quickly grabbing one and promptly dropping to the ground to sit and read. They giggled joyfully and showed one another various pictures of their books. (One I saw was titled BAD KITTY GETS A BATH... awesome.)

I'm thankful for books & literature & writing & creativity of thought.

And I'm perplexed as to where that zest for reading goes as children grow up.

My friend & co-worker, Kelly, wrote an insightful piece about reading expectations. But sometimes I feel, as an educator, that I need to take a step backward. How do I, as an English teacher, cultivate a passion for reading? Sometimes I worry that, as a secondary teacher, I'm getting kids too late - after the joy of reading has faded.

I think we maintain our love for stories, but for some reason, the reading aspect is a huge turn off for many. Is it our culture? Our educational methods? Where did we lose our love for reading?

8 comments:

  1. I think our love for reading is drained away by our technology... there is an inverse proportion to technology and reading

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  2. If you think about it, most of the world is made up of oral learners. Even if people are literate, their main learning style is through orality.

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  3. Anonymous #1 - Dad? :)

    Anonymous #2 - Two-thirds of the world are oral learners, but does that mean that they still can't enjoy reading? I'm not even focusing on the LEARNING part yet - I'd just like to figure out what point it is in a person's life where books go from exciting to dull.

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  4. Maybe if Great Expectations was illustrated it would be more enjoyable...

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  5. It's anonymous #2 again. So I was thinking about myself and maybe reading becomes less enjoyable because we desire instant gratification. I mean, the western world is educated and has been for a while so the younger generations don't necessarily care. They take it for granted. Like in the DMB song Funny the Way it is. "One kid walks ten miles to school and the other is dropping out."

    But honestly, with you as their teacher they probably leave your classroom wanting to read more. Your knowledge and love of literature I'm sure has to have some positive affect on them. But it may be one of those things that they don't realize it until years later. So don't lose heart. I'm sure you are instilling in them a love for reading, it just might take them a while to realize that. You're a good teacher.

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  6. I always thought reading was a personality thing. (And what we enjoy reading is a personality thing). In our family, we were all basically raised the same, our parents reading to us/with us all the same, going to the same schools, and two of us were readers, two - not so much. Why? (Although, now as adults, they do read a lot more). I've thought about this some before because I really want my boys to love reading. I always say that life would be so boring without books!

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  7. Sarah Dumrese11/20/10, 5:44 PM

    I know I'm late on this, but Rachel you must read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. It's never too late to teach your love for literacy! (and I still love your blog!)

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  8. Thanks for the suggestion, Sarah! I'll definitely have to grab that! Thanks for reading - glad you like the blog. :)

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