student reading

Student reading in the library.

I hope you’ll consider the following fundamental truths as you plan lessons and activities for the young (potential) readers you serve:

Our most successful students tend to have one thing in common: they are readers. And by successful I don’t just mean that they perform well on standardized tests (although they do) I also mean that they are better at doing other things that actually matter. Time and time again, studies have shown that students who are readers out perform their non-reading counterparts in multiple subject areas. But recent studies also suggest that students who read for pleasure also develop stronger senses of empathy and personal wellbeing. In short, readers win at school and they also win at life. That said…
Our students are most likely to become readers when:
they are given choice in what they read,
they have teachers who also read for pleasure,
they see reading as an essential part of their lives and not just something they have to do for school, and…
they develop a habit of reading grown out of having made authentic and meaningful connections with books.

Then, think about your own life as a reader. Can you, as I have above, identify one or two pivot points in your development as a reader? That is to say, can you locate some crucial moments that helped transform you from a non-reader to a reader? If you can, I’m absolutely convinced that they will look a lot like mine, insomuch as they’ll have nothing to do with incentives or accountability, but will instead have everything to do with one (or more) exceptional teacher, librarian or some other adult and one (or more) exceptional book. If you are really lucky, and are still in contact with that person, take a moment to thank them. But even if you’re not, hold onto those memories and make this the year that you become (or continue to be) that person for someone else. Your students need a reading champion now, more than ever. Let that person be you.
source: Laguard, Jennifer.Learning To Read Alone Is Not Enough. Your Students Need A Reading Champion. Posted August 8, 2015.

Please remember, you are that champion. Post what you’re reading outside your door, whether it’s a magazine, a blog, a book, an ebook. Let your students know, you read.