This week, I have been able to experience my absolute favorite reading feeling. I spent several days immersing myself in some truly incredible professional books and lapped each paragraph up for its juicy goodness. I mean, I feel like I have the juice of ripe fruit dribbling down my chin, the sticky chocolate bits on my fingers, and the melt in my mouth gorgeousness of sugary meringue on my tongue. There were so many wonderful nuggets in these books that I literally had to set them down every 20 minutes or so and spend some time just absorbing what I’d learned. My family was slightly amused by my desire to start conversations with them about reading, and to discuss the meaning and validity of certain teaching practices (not so easy with my 9 year old who was lucky enough to be home with me most of the time and the recipient of the majority of my ramblings!) I miss my co-workers!
This, my friends is my reading Nirvana – my truly happy place. I love exploring my profession and learning from others. I am the proverbial “sponge” that can’t wait for school to start on Monday so I can implement the things I’ve read about. But more importantly, I can’t wait to tell my students how much I enjoyed my reading life over the break. If I could boil my teaching down to one single statement it would be “find your juicy goodness”. Well, maybe to be a bit less amorphous, “Find your reading bliss”. I want my students to discover the books that make them smile, exclaim “YES!”, grab the nearest warm body to discuss, sometimes cry, wail, and ultimately be changed forever. If I can do this lofty thing, then I have created readers for life or Readers in the Wild as Donalyn Miller would say. Connecting students with books that make them want to read more is, after all, the best way to start them on the road to educational success.
I hope you have enjoyed this respite we call Winter Break, and had a chance to rejuvenate your teaching core. I know I’m ready to jump back in and I can’t wait to get my students reinvigorated for 2014. I will share my reading life with them, and spend some time helping them set goals for the rest of the school year – including reading goals. I can’t wait to hear what my accomplished readers and formerly reluctant readers read over the break, and I will begin anew my quest to bring those last few stragglers into the fold of juicy goodness.
Best wishes to you for 2014 and may you always have a good book on hand.
If you’re interested, my amazing reads this week were:
Writing about Reading by Janet Angelillo (I’m starting a book study with this book at my school – inspired by a post Donalyn Miller shared on #titletalk)
Building a Reading Life by Lucy Calkins
A Guide to Reading Workshop by Lucy Calkins
These books were a part of this set
(I do a form of Reading Workshop in my classroom already – Daily 5 and CAFE which was designed by the Two Sisters and I LOVE it. I wanted to read Lucy’s work and see how they compared and where I could add more. )