I used to tell my babies that fair isn’t getting what you want, but getting what you need. I think what makes teachers these extraordinary people is that they can never really say this is the one thing that is fair. This is what they need. You’re job is mostly trial and error and more times than not you have to throw the plan out of the window. What is interesting to me is when we realize something is not working and we continue to do it. Einstein said, “doing the same thing and expecting different results is called insanity.” Are we just a bunch of insane people hoping that one day things will change? The conflict in discourse says that it take 66 days to break a habit. Considering that there are only 180 days in a school year we waste many days trying to evoke change. How do you know when something is working? How can we really evoke change? Is it really worth it? What is fair is it doing the same thing for all or just giving everyone what they need so that we can all be successful?
This morning, I saw a Tedx talk on why it is important to read more. The speaker Kelly Corrigan, stated that 33% of people who graduate high school never pick up another book and if a person goes to college, only 42% of them would pick up a book for pleasure after school is over. I’m not sure where she got that statistic, but it seems just about right. I must admit that if I didn’t truly love books and taking that adventure through the pages, I am not ever really required to sit and just read a book for pleasure.
The teacher in me wonders: how can I instill a love of books with my elementary aged students now so that they are apart of the 33 and 42 percent rather than the other 65-75% of the population? I spoke with a parent of one of my children this morning and she asked me how she could motivate her daughter to read more and not make it a chore. I volunteered to spend some time with her daughter in the hopes that it will help her to become more enthusiastic about reading and school in general. I don’t know how successful I will be, but hopefully I can do something positive in her life this summer.
My hope for her is that she develops a love of information so that she can become successful in life. That will really help her to be successful in life and especially college. College was difficult for me, but what made me successful was my love of learning and reading. If I only read because I had to, I don’t think I would be able to make the connections I did while writing papers or communicate with people later in life. This love actually makes me a better teacher.
After watching this 8 minute clip, I realized that though the speaker was talking and imploring adults to read more, it is more important to spread this message to our children. They have to understand that the love of reading and the choice to read books years after they are required actually happens way before high school graduation. It starts now. We are in the information age, so perhaps imploring everyone to stop using Google is not the best idea, but maybe what I could suggest is asking parents, teachers, aunts and uncles to join a book club with their youngster. Read the book together (Actually read the book again if you’ve already done so) and then talk about it. Find out what they are interested in reading and introduce them to new authors or related genres. I’m not promising that they will become bookworms, but perhaps they will remember this when they graduate high school and college and they go to the beach with their e-reader filled with novels instead of Candy Crush. I am sure that their future selves will thank you for helping to expand their vocabulary and their world view.
The future starts today!
Here is the link to the talk if you are interested
Recently, one of my friends mentioned that I’ve changed in the past year. I started listening to TED Talks for fun, being more analytical, and looking at all aspects before making decisions. I really don’t think it is a bad thing, heck, I think it is a really good thing. I think part of the reason I’ve made such a transformation is that I had these amazing people around me who all seem more put together than I. Being the researcher I am, I asked them what made helped them to make the transformation and surprise surprise they each give me this list of books. HA!
I laugh because I feel like I am always reading, so how in the world am I supposed to add to my already long book list?! Furthermore, where in the world am I going to find the time to do this amazing reading for said transformation? SO here I am, a teacher, who spends her life teaching children to love reading and learning, spending her summer reading and transforming. I think it is amazing because it is an amazing time in my life to transform. So the transformation is beginning.
The book that inspired me to start this blog, was gifted to me by manager. I think that can only be the beginning of a transformation. This year I spent the year collecting books that will transform my life. 7Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey actually made me a better problem solver and that was suggested to me first from my dad, who is so amazing, and my principal, who I swear is a superhero in some ways. Just a disclaimer, this transformation is just to ensure that I can be the best me I can be. When you are surrounded by amazing people you just want to makes sure you aren’t slipping and you are always at your highest level of awesome.
So what’s the next book on the awesome list?
CATCH 22 by Joseph Heller!!!
There is always a lesson to be learned from great American Literature, especially when the title alone has significance in our culture. I’m excited!
I just finished this book about how all things happen in not just by chance, but because it is meant to happen. The people you meet, the circumstances you have, thoughts in your imagination, etc. In this book the main character goes through an adventure to find this manuscripts that are supposed to hold insights into our life. The first Insight is that nothing happens by coincidence. I’ve had thoughts about starting a blog where I can talk about books and document my love of literacy education.
After reading this book, I’m convinced that I too am on an adventure and now it begins…