The Book Whisperer- Ch 5

It is time to walk the walk.  The statistics presented were appalling.  The average adult only reads 4 books, really? And more than half of teachers polled were unenthusiastic about reading.  That is unbelievable!   “Even parents who read to their children, take them to libraries, and model good reading habits at home have difficulty overcoming a reading wasteland in their children’s classrooms.” Now that scared me.

I began to think of my own two daughters.  They both attend immersion school where they speak, read, and write in Cherokee.  My oldest, entering 4th grade, loves books but struggles to read since she did not have formal English until this past year.  My other daughter, entering first grade, has had Letter Land this past year and reads everything in sight.  I worry that they do not have enough books at their school because of the lack of resources to get books translated.  Evenings are so short between commitments, homework, and their mama being back in school too.  Reading books together does not always come first.  I feel so guilty.  Then, just recently, my youngest has told me over and over how she can’t wait to go to Grandma’s (in Florida, 10 hours away) to go to the library.  We had gone to the local library for a book activity.  I had no idea she loved it so much.  Now I really feel like a bad parent who is an educator that should do better.

Feeling convicted, I am determined to be a better reading role model.  In the midst of my studies where I must read with an “efferent stance,”  I need to make time to read for pleasure, too.  I want my daughters to have fond memories of reading as children, like I do.  I do love to read, but have just lost my way.  I am ready to reclaim it, and start my notebook.

Is there anyone else feeling convicted with me?  (Maybe we can start a support group.)  Or anyone want to share any fond reading memories or their latest read (besides this book)?



Filed under The Book Whisperer Discussion

14 responses to “The Book Whisperer- Ch 5

  1. A mother’s guilt is never ending! Mine are in HS and my son still only reads what is required…sigh…most painful thing for a literature teacher. I so wish I would have read this when he was in 5th grade with me…so feeling like a painful failure…yes, I can relate.

    One of the most important thing we can do as teachers is to take time to read silently while the kids are reading. As teachers we need to model what it is we expect from the students. If you walked into my room last year, many times both of us teachers were sitting among the students reading. Teachers need to share what they are reading too…It is so fun to read a book and say, “Wow! Logan would love this book!”

    • Katie

      I think it is never too late for a dormant reader to emerge, though. My brother didn’t enjoy reading until after college I think! When he moved back home, he set a goal of reading certain books. He and my mom ended up reading most of the C.S. Lewis Narnia series aloud together. He still doesn’t love books, but he definitely reads a lot more.

    • Mollie

      We have mother guilt and teacher guilt. It is hard to do it all. We do the best we can. It will be ok. My mother in-law is the most avid reader I know. Even with that role model, my husband doesn’t enjoy reading. The only thing I see him read is the newspaper online. I have never seen him read a novel for pleasure, ever, in 20 years! You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

  2. Katie

    great chapter. i am always looking for book recommendations. some great ones i’ve read recently: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, Home by Marilynne Robinson, and I’m hanging on ( the edge of my seat waiting for the last book in the YA “Divergent” triology by Veronica Roth. Anyone else have any recommendations?

  3. Scarlett Perry

    As i was reading chapter 5, one statement from from chapter 5 hit home with me. Page 108 ‘Readers are made not born.” so true. Students can only learn what we model them. As eductors we must realize that reading on our free time can be a great modeling tool for our students. I am learning that no matter what I am reading at home; this practice will help sharpen my tools as a teacher as welll.

    • Mollie

      I loved that quote too. We have so much power to guide our students. That is scary. We need to use our power for good!! 🙂

  4. Scarlett Perry

    Please forgive me for some reason my computer does not work well with this website. Forgive my spelling errors, shift button will not work on this page. Is anyone else having this problem? Thanks

  5. Donna Beck

    Sometimes, it’s hard for me to remember that not everyone enjoys reading as much as I do. I have always been surrounded by avid readers: my family, most of my friends, colleagues, etc. the one person I am close to that is not a big reader is, unfortunately, my son. He can read, but generally chooses not to. Video games have priority to him. He is definitely a dormant reader. He will read if, and only if, he really is motivated. He read almost every “Goosebumps” book in elementary school. Then he read “Harry Potter” in junior high. In high school, a few sci-fi books. As an adult, he doesn’t read much for pleasure. (Well, besides The Walking Dead series). He could probably write all the books he has read on one sheet of paper. I wish he was encouraged to read more in the intermediate grades and high school. This seems to be when he stopped reading for the joy of it.

    I certainly hope that I am sharing my love of reading with my students, I thought that I was doing a pretty good job, but I definitely see that I can do better. I will need to “walk the walk” even better!

    • Mollie

      I have seen you talk with your students about books and share your love of reading. I love how you change your book displays with different themes. Your students do love reading! Good job!

  6. I have always been a big reader and my husband consumes books by the boatload. Our boys hated to read in school because the books were fiction and they neither one cared for it (nor does their father!). Once they got out of school, both began to read and read all the time now. Guess what. They don’t read fiction to this day! I have changed my own class to include more nonfiction and variety but I think it is time to take it a step further!

  7. Lori Yelk

    I also found that while I was in the midst of my studies, it was difficult to “pleasure read”. I did make time for it however because reading for enjoyment took me away from my everyday stresses and into someone else’s world. I do keep an ongoing list of books that I would like to read and note any that friends or family may be interested in reading as well. I love reading with your daughters on my visits to your home. It has been fun to watch them grow into readers, and yes while each of them is different in their degree of reading, you have been a role model and will continue to inspire them to read.

  8. Mollie

    I agree with all of you. It is an awesome responsibility we as teachers have. We are the key factors to whether our students love reading or not. I was depressed by her statements that we are creating a “culture of reading poverty” in our classrooms. Unfortunately I have seen this happen and probably am guitly of not being the best reading role model for my students (and my own children). But let’s focus on the future. What we can change to become the reading role models for our students. So many students come to school with little to no reading role models and too many have negative experiences with “reading” in school. Ms. Miller mentioned that we don’t want our students to compartmentalize reading; one for school and one for home. Reading should be seen as a natural part of our lives no matter where we are. I like her reading self-reflection activity and the reading improvement plan. I plan to take time to do these activities so I can connect with my students. I love this quote, “Wear reading love in front of your students every day.” I plan to do that!

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