For the past few summers, I have started my holiday with a stack of books and a determination to read them all. Like a New Year’s resolution, I relish in the feeling that I am going to accomplish something. Two summers ago, I tweeted out my book stack with hopes of it keeping me accountable. But each summer unfolded the same. I looked at that stack of books and gave myself reasons and deadlines to put off reading them. In the blink of an eye, it would be the middle of August and I haden’t finished a single professional resource.
I realized I had lost my love of reading. Growing up I was a ferocious reader. I read anything I could get my hands on. I often stayed up late into the night turning pages to a story that I couldn’t put down. But in the last few years, I had lost that love of reading. Reading started to feel like a job, not a joy.
In June, I came across a blog post by Donalyn Miller about her Book a Day challenge on twitter. Essentially read a book a day throughout the summer and tweet about it with the hashtag #bookaday. This was my opportunity to celebrate reading, connect with a community who loved reading and reclaim the joy I had lost.
It was a beautiful summer of reading. I read YA books and picture books, graphic novels and beginning chapter books and even one professional resource. There were many nights that I stayed up long after the house was quiet engrossed in a good book.
I spent the summer nurturing reading in myself and in doing so I realized the importance of nurturing reading in our students. While we can not discount the importance of our students having time in their day to read books at a level that they can read independently to build fluency. We also must nurture a love and excitement of reading in our classrooms.