Friday, October 16, 2009

I Am a Book Lover

I am a book lover. I am a carry-a-book-everywhere-I-go,-read-any-chance-I-get,-don' book lover. My love for reading oozes out of my pores and drips off of me like honey from an overflowing honeycomb. Like honey, my love for books is sticky and sometimes gets on others, if they sit too close. I want my students to be great readers, but most important of all, I want them to be Book Lovers.

As a child I was not a book lover nor was I a book reader. The saddest part of all is that no one expected me to read. Not my parents or my teachers. I was an excellent reader, thanks to Dick and Jane (Yikes, now you know how old I am). I can only remember one teacher reading aloud to me, Mrs. Morris, my fourth grade teacher, and to this day I remember the books she read: Brighty of Grand Canyon, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Misty of Chincoteague, and The Secret Garden. I took a Children's Lit class in college because I thought it would be easy, and that is when I started reading and I haven't stopped. In that class, I learned what I had missed, and I made a solemn vow on a stack of children's books to never let anyone I cared about miss out on the joy of reading a good book.

As a teacher of thirty-one years, I have never been much of a basal reading program user. I never understood why children that lived smack-dab in the middle of a blistering inferno should be convinced to make a connection with a story about sailing. My first two years of teaching I used the basal because I didn't know what else to do, but deep down inside I knew it wasn't using the basal reader. The years to follow I devised my own reading program using "real" books. About ten years ago, I tripped over the reading workshop philosophy of teaching reading. I had finally found MY true philosophy. It felt comfortable like a soft cushy couch that you sit in, get swallowed up by and wonder if you will ever be able to get out without someone throwing you a life-preserver.

I am always asked how I get kids to love reading so much. My answer is always, "I don't know." It may be the oozing-honey-sat-too-close-to-me-and-got-some-on-you theory or magic. I am kind of pulling for the books are magic theory. I expect my students to be "real" readers. I read to them. They read to me. We read together. They read on their own . . . . . . Abracadabra . . . . . POOF . . . . sparkling fairy dust . . . . . they love to read. Believe me, I would love to take the credit for it, but I can't. It's not me. It's the books. Try one, but watch out for the sparkling fairy dust; it can get in your eyes.

Paco's Perspective

I can't read, but I do enjoy the sound of your voice, especially, on our trips to Montana when you read to Auntie Caren. Your melodic voice puts me to sleep. Wait a minute . . . . . . I like naps, therefore, I like the sound of your voice.


  1. I can't imagine a time when you DIDN'T love books! I don't even understand people who aren't...and I think they don't understand us. Not really.

  2. Both of my girls love to read because of you. Amber has so many story books and reads to Madi every night before she puts her to bed, and Juli always has a book with her. She reads constantly. Thank you for being their teacher.