We Must Model What We Wish to See in Our Students

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Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. – Abigail Adams

For years I mumbled about writing and focus on literacy in my class, afterall, I was a math teacher.  If I wanted to teach reading, writing, etc., I would have been an English teacher, right?

No longer, I finally get it. I realize the importance of developing strategies for vocabulary, using multiple writing opportunities that allow students to summarize their understanding, share questions.  At risk students, especially, need someone to model these learning strategies, which will give them more tools for success.

I was an avid reader growing up.  Nonfiction/biographies is where you would find my nose in elementary school.  When did I lose this passion for reading?  Through high school, even college, I was a ‘model student’ doing what I was assigned, going through the motions, but I was not passionate about learning and reading.

I give credit to @joyinlearning for reigniting this love of learning just a few years ago.  In the past 3 years, I rarely put down a book, that I don’t have another ready to pick up.  I also credit twitter book chats for keeping me on track/accountable for professional reading…seeking opportunities to really apply what I am reading to my classroom.

A statement from a colleague made me pause one day this spring, ‘I wish more would read and participate’ concerning our Library Media Science elective.  My thought, “But are we encouraging it?  If we want our students to read, are we reading ourselves?  Are we sharing what we learn from our reading? Even if its just a great fictional book to read!?! If we want our students to be lifelong learners, are we models of lifelong learners ourselves?”

My students were always teasing me when I would share an idea or new strategy ‘I had read about,’ but I believe it was evident to them, my desire was to move forward, I was searching, reading to provide new opportunities for them to learn. 

A few days before our end of school, I read this tweet and loved it…

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What a great way to share what we are reading!  I could totally get started with adding my reading list to my email signature!

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Beginning with open house next school year, there will be a poster outside my door sharing what I am currently reading, both professional and for-fun.  I plan to include a variety of texts-books, articles, blogs.  I am hoping other colleagues will join in this effort to create an environment that encourages life-long learning with a focus on reading! 

A couple of posts I have read this summer…

Becoming Leaders of Readers -Shelley Burgess

Developing Active Readers – Rebecca Alber

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2 responses »

  1. Love your post! I love to read but I guess I am a bit shy about sharing what I am reading. The idea of putting books in my signature line or on a poster works for me!

    I especially want to find a way to encourage colleagues to read blogs. Oh my, how much I have learned this year from following several of them. The inspiration alone is amazing!

    I am purchasing 2 books today for summer reading: Embedded Formative Assessment by Wiliam and Mindset by Dweck.

    By the way, our school library invited teachers to join in a book club next year and offered to purchase the first three books for us for free. The first two titles are The Fault in our Stars by John Green and Divergent by Veronica Roth. I’m getting started on those this summer as well.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Beth
    http://algebrasfriend.blogspot.com/

  2. Pingback: Summer Reading 2016 #MTBoSBlaugust Post 7 | the radical rational...

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