Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Life As A Reader

Because I don't seem to have enough to do these days, I decided to participate in the Fall Blogging Challenge started by Melanie Holtsman. Those who are participating in the challenge must write one post a week based on the writing prompts Melanie has provided us. I liked the idea so much that I'm also having my students participate in a Blogging Challenge of our own. You can follow us here:

Seventh Grade Randomness

This week we are tasked with answering the question "What is your life as a reader like?"

Do you read for work, pleasure, instructions or emails? What is your favorite author and/or genre? What is your favorite reading spot? What did you like to read when you were the age of your students?

I love to read. Always have. But it is not something that is easy for me. I have learning issues that cause me to be a very slow reader. Painfully slow at times. And my reading comprehension has never been what I would like it to be. I can't always remember key parts in a novel, so please don't ask me. However, I don't let that keep me from something I so enjoy doing.

I read constantly: for work, for learning, for personal enjoyment. I read blogs, I read magazines (yes, the kind that are printed on paper), I read books. I'll even read the cereal box in the morning while I'm standing in the kitchen. I don't even think about it, really. If there are words in front of me, I'm reading them! Several years ago I had to have surgery to repair a detached retina. The doctor explained that after the procedure I would need to keep my head in an awkward position for five days. Ok, not fun, but I'll do it because I don't want to go blind. "Oh, and you can't read anything for the next two weeks." I'm sorry...what?!

Yes, those were the longest two weeks of my life!

Since I became a teacher I find that I do very little reading during the school year. I just don't have enough time in my days to get my job done, much less lay around and get lost in a great book. Over the summer I read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and decided to incorporate her ideas into my literature curriculum with my seventh graders. Can I be honest with you? I think a large part of the reason I did this was because I'm supposed to read at the same time as my students. Their silent reading time is my silent reading time! How awesome is that! So I will at least have fifteen minutes per day of time for me. Thank you, Donalyn!!

There have been times in my life as a reader when it was very easy to answer the question "Who is your favorite author?" Favorite authors have included Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, and, of course, J.K. Rowling. But lately, I've read a wider variety of authors, most likely because I'm trying to read a lot of the books that my students like. I'm currently reading The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, and I'm loving it. The main character is a seventh grade boy trying to figure out his seventh grade teacher...I think I can relate to that.

My favorite time of year for reading is almost here! On a cold, rainy day I love nothing better than lying on the couch covered with a blanket and with a fire going in the fireplace. And if the cat is feeling snuggly...even better!


Mrs. Tenkely said...

Reading while your students read also sends a very powerful message about reading. My fifth grade teacher did this and I will never forget it!

Melanie Holtsman said...

I cannot imagine going two weeks without reading! And when you talked about reading the cereal box...that's when I realised I do the same thing! Maybe that's why grocery shopping takes so long... The Book Whisperer sounds interesting, will be downloading that on my iPad today! Thanks for taking the challenge!

Unknown said...

Kelly...there are three of us doing this at my school: in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades! I'm sure it has nothing to do with the teachers wanting to steal a little reading time for themselves! :)

Melanie...I know!! When the doctor told me that, there was actually a moment where I thought, "Hmmm...maybe not." And I didn't mention that I had that procedure more than once! I lost a lot of reading time that year! Yuck!

Thanks for creating the challenge!!