Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Do Teachers Still Read?

I had a wonderful conversation with an English teacher for whom I sub.  He and I chatted about what is good reading -- for us, for middle school students, for teachers.  Oddly enough, when the conversation was coming to an end, he said, "It's so good to talk to another teacher who reads."

Good point.

Last year when I was in Clark County, I was friends with only four people at the school where I taught.  Three of them were English teachers.  Imagine my surprise when I asked what anyone had read during break (I cannot remember if it was Christmas or spring), the answer was, "Who has time for reading?"
Really?  I feel confused.  I thought English teachers LOVED books.  I do.  I enjoy reading best sellers, classics and YA books.  I enjoy participating in booktalks.  Am I a dinosaur?

In this age of standardized testing and closing achievement gaps, shouldn't the field be looking for teachers who do read?  Student reading scores cannot improve if they are not reading.  In this age of technology, students seem to disregard reading for more immediate pursuits -- gaming and texting.   If teachers are not reading, how can we get our students to read?

Maybe it's time to make reading a part of the interview process.  Value the dinosaur.

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