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What's Love Got to Do with It?

Originally drafted in December but never posted until now...

This post started with a tweet:

"lol I don't feel like reading"

Since then, I've been thinking about motivation and reading lives, particularly that of former students. 

Kelly Gallagher shares a frustration about the Common Core State Standards in In the Best Interest of Students when he writes this: "Since the Common Core anchor reading standards virtually ignore recreational reading, I am concerned that students will lose opportunities to read for enjoyment" (145). 

A senior stopped to visit me during my plan hour today. As usual, I asked about her reading life. She's devoured books in the past that I've recommended that have helped her find herself: Openly Straight, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, among others. (If you aren't familiar with these books, you should be.)

What is she reading now? Nothing. She's not even reading the assigned whole-class novel she's expected to work through.

Too many of our students don't feel the burning desire to read.

Too many of our students aren't making reading a priority or are letting their passions for reading fall to the wayside.

Engagement--and in this case, I mean LOVE--has everything to do with it.

We have to rekindle students' passions for books, for stories, for the written word.

Like I've heard so many other educators say before about "rigor," students won't spend their time doing things that are hard just because they are hard. They have to like them. It's our jobs as English teachers to help them find the joy, the passion, the love of books. 

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