This past weekend, I was traveling and lost my Kindle, and I am quite sad. Of course, I was in the middle of a good read and will now have to wait to either check the book out from the library or purchase another e-reader. But it made me think about my love of reading for pleasure and how it is an integral part of my life.
Much of these thoughts on how I got turned on to the world of books was sparked by a conference my colleagues and I attended. The focus was on elevating reading in the classrooms to help students capture the joy of both fiction and non-fiction. Often, the joy of reading is lost when we become so focused on testing and complying with ever-increasing mandates.
One of the first questions asked of conference attendees was what book made you love reading. For many, it was To Kill a Mockingbird or Pride & Prejudice, along with other classics, but for me (and now I am going to show my age), it was the Nancy Drew series. Nancy Drew: the strong, smart female who could outwit anyone and solve all the mysteries she managed to get involved in. I owe Carolyn Keene (a man, no less, which I found out in later years) for my love of reading. But more importantly, I owe my fourth grader teacher, who allowed me to choose a book I wanted to read. As educators, do many of us allow our students to do that--choose a book they actually want to read?
I hope the majority of educators overwhelmingly say yes! It is this love of reading that will provide students the foundation to be successful in math, science, social studies, and yes, even, PE classes. Yes, we're coming up on the week of love with Valentine's Day, but I want to also acknowledge that the Love of Reading is also near and dear to my heart.
Thank you, Carolyn Keene, and thanks to all the educators who instill that “Love of Reading” in their students' hearts.