Skip to main content

2016 Reading Goal

I accomplished my reading goal last night around 9:00 PM. I was incredibly behind before winter break started, and I was beginning to reassure myself that there's always next year. Luckily my local library has an expansive collection of graphic novels and picture books, so I was able to just barely reach 150 in time.

I know numbers aren't important, but it does feel good to be able to say that I met my goal--even if it's in the last few hours of the year.

As I look at my Year in Books available on Good Reads, I'm starting to think ahead and plan for my reading year ahead. Some things I want to accomplish in my reading life include:


  • Reading more non-fiction. I know that there are well written non-fiction texts, but I tend to shy away from these. Even in my classroom, these are the least checked-out books. I need to not only do a better job selling these titles, but I also need to familiarize myself with more of these texts. I think part of the reason that I read so few non-fiction titles is that I am unable to focus on it right before bed, and that's when I tend to do most of my reading during the school year. I'm closing on my house next week, and I'm looking forward to reading more about homeownership. 
  • Reading more about pedagogy. I know that I'm happier and a better teacher during the school year when I'm reading about teaching practices. The first semester seemed to slip away when it came to reading about pedagogy, and I want to do more of that in the year ahead. I benefit because my thinking is vindicated and stretched, and my students benefit from a break in some of the routine assignments. One of my first professional reads in the months ahead is Writing with Mentors. A co-worker and I have formed our own two-person book group, and I'm excited to plan ways that we can incorporate more mentor texts into our classrooms. 
  • Reading more for me. I tend to read primarily young adult literature in the hopes that I can share books with students. At the same time, I don't necessarily read things that I am interested in. I want to strike more of a balance here, too. Perhaps this will be motivation enough to revive a book group that's gone to the wayside, or maybe I'll reach out and join one of my local library's many groups. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Handwritten Cue Cards in the 21st Century

I just stumbled upon this behind-the-scenes clip of Saturday Night Live's cue card process. This is intense writing. This is writing that is dependent upon trust and checks and balances. Over a short period of time, skits are written, drafted on cards, revised, and the cards revised over and over again. I also really love that SNL continues to use cue cards and not a teleprompter. Like Wally points out, technology can fail. Handwritten cue cards ensure the show goes on. Comedy is hard work. Writing is hard work. Changes are made up until the last minute to get things just right. This is a form of real-world writing.

What's your "gap plan"?

Brene Brown introduces the "family gap plan" in the fourth episode of her podcast, Unlocking Us . This came about when she and her husband would argue when she would return home from traveling. It seemed like the minute she walked in, her husband would expect her to be ready for him to "tap out," where she could take over where he had been supporting the family. While she was away from home, this didn't mean that she was full of energy and at 100% the minute she walked in the door. She had been working too and was exhausted. So, over time they began to name where they were at as people and as a family: I'm at 10%. I'm at 30%. They knew they needed a plan for when collectively she and her husband were not at 100%, but they needed to be for their family. Beyond our personal lives, the idea of a "gap plan" got me thinking about our classrooms and schools. What happens when we are not at 100% or we know that our classrooms or students are not

I should’ve taken the time

Yesterday during a teacher observation, a student asked me to step into the hall and talk with them. At the time, it didn’t seem urgent. With this student in particular, we have talked often. Sometimes it was important, other times—from my perspective—it didn’t seem that urgent.  When I asked her if it could wait 10 minutes, she shut down. I could see the change in how she sat and participated, withdrawing into her desk and no longer asking for help from those around her. There was a noticeable difference in how she interacted with her peers the minute those words came out.  When I noticed the change, I tried to drop everything right there and talk with her.  Let’s go talk, right now,  I said.  No, it’s fine , she replied. And despite my multiple check-ins while she was working independently, she declined the opportunity to talk again that hour.  Without even realizing it, I had damaged our relationship.  We ended up talking later that the day. I saw her as she walked to her next class