It is hard to believe another March has arrived, and it is time for another Slice of Life Challenge. This is my third year of participating. Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this space for me to share my corner of the world.
Last week our health teacher walked into our wing with a book in his hand. He walked up to me and said, "I think this belongs to you. I am not sure who was reading it."
I took it from him and said, "Oh 'Abigail Fall' is reading that. Thanks."
He looks at me with a puzzled look on his face like "How did you know who was reading that?" But instead he says, "Yes, that is who sits there."
I knew who was reading that book because I know my readers, and I strive to create reading relationships with them. Would I know what every single one of my 105 students are reading? Probably not, but I could get pretty close. Knowing what my students are reading is important to me.
Taking time to confer with my students is the key. It is during these short talks that I get to know their reading preferences so I can recommend books to them. Conferring at the middle school level is not an easy thing to do with 48 minute periods, but I know those conversations are valuable.
As they walk by in the hall with their books in their hands, I observe what they are carrying around. I stop and ask them how it's going or where they are in the book. Our joke is to ask, "Has the dog died yet?" even if there is no dog in the story. These kinds of conversations are how I connect with them and the books they are reading.
Reading what they read and sharing my reading life are essential to creating discussions about books. I post the books I have read on my door so that they can see that I am a reader too. When they need a new book, I catch them many times looking at my door to see what I have read, and the conversations begin.
I am a reading teacher, but I do not have superpowers. Instead, I have reading relationships, and that is enough power for me.