I grabbed one more title off the cluttered clearance shelves of my local used bookstore. My classes this year are fascinated by horror and thriller books. Last year it was mysteries, and the year before it was all things fantasy.
I find myself browsing the clearance shelves at least once a month for new additions to our burgeoning classroom library. Sure, the kids could check out books from the school library (and they do), but there is something more intimate and connected about our classroom library.
It takes personal time and my own money to do this, but I don't mind. I know it takes a lot of work to inspire readers. It makes me a better teacher.
I wish I had more conversations about this side of reading from admins and other teachers. Instead it's mostly about data, spreadsheets, data, test scores, and more data. So many important things in education don't fit nicely into line graphs.
A student told me on the first week of school how much she didn't like to read. It took some serious work, but now she can't wait for reader's workshop and enjoys reading to me. Tell me, how do I plot that on an .xls sheet?
Maybe if we put more effort into igniting a passion for books, we wouldn't have to worry so much about bubble sheets and test scores.