I really like this article because it validates me! This article points out the importance of being a reader in order to be able to teach reading. So share your love of reading with your students. If you are working in a classroom, and not doing 1:1 tutoring, bring in a book you love and ask the teacher if you can read all of it or a few pages to the class. If there is not time for that, and you are comfortable leaving the book for a few days, tell the class that you will leave it for anyone to read when there is extra time. If you have a table where you work with small groups, just have the book on the table and tell the students about it before or after you work with them. If you are tutoring 1:1, bring a book every time and find a few minutes to read it with your student. You can also bring a book you are reading that you don’t read aloud, but that you just tell about and tell why you are reading it. The love of reading is contagious!
Response: Advice From The “Book Whisperer,” Ed Week Readers & Me About Teaching Reading
(From Education Week Teacher)
Response From Donalyn Miller
Donalyn Miller is a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, TX. She is the author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child and currently writes The Book Whisperer blog for Education Week Teacher. Donalyn co-founded The Nerdy Book Club blog and co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk.
One facet of our reading instruction that cannot be overlooked is the importance of teacher readers in building a classroom reading community. According to Morrison, Jacobs, and Swinyard (1999), “perhaps the most influential teacher behavior to influence students’ literacy development is personal reading, both in and out of school.”
Teachers who want to help their students become better readers must be readers themselves. Results from a study by Nathanson, Pruslow and Levitt (2008) showed that 56% of unenthusiastic readers did not have a teacher who shared a love of reading, while 64% of enthusiastic readers did have such a teacher. Clearly, teachers who read are more successful at engaging their students with reading than teachers who don’t read.
If we don’t read, why should our students?
Here are some suggestions for launching or enhancing your personal reading life:
Set aside daily time for reading. If you don’t have time to read for 30 minutes at a stretch, read in the morning before work or at night before bed. Carry a book or e-reader with you as a regular habit and steal reading time while you have a few minutes. Dedicate some time for extra reading during the weekends or holidays. You can bring your book to class and read occasionally with your students, too. Pick one day a week where you read along with your students during independent reading time.
Select books you can share with your students. Tell yourself you are conducting research for your students if it helps. Children’s and young adult books are shorter and easier to read and you can see a direct benefit when you pass these books along to kids in your class.
Revisit books you enjoyed when you were younger. I reread Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings, and Charlotte’s Web every few years. I always find something new to appreciate about these favorites. Kick start your reading life by reconnecting with the books you loved in the past.
Join or start a book club. Reading communities like book clubs provide readers support and enhance our enjoyment of the books we read. Talk to colleagues, friends, or neighbors about forming a book group. Read adult books, professional books, or children’s books together–depending on your interests and needs. If you cannot find a book club group that suits you, consider online reading communities such as goodreads.
Befriend a librarian. Ask your school or public librarian for book suggestions and resources for connecting with other readers such as book clubs, online discussion groups, and literacy events in your local area. Borrow book review magazines or ask librarians what blogs and reading sites they visit.
Share your reading life with your students. Show your students what reading adds to your life. If you are reading a nonfiction book at the moment, tell them what you are learning. Pass the children’s books you are reading to them when you are done. Describe the funny, sad, or interesting moments in the books you read. When you read something challenging, talk with your students about how you work through difficult text. It will surprise them that you find reading hard at times, too, but choose to read, anyway.
Reading teachers are teachers who read and readers who teach.