Category Archives: Guys Read
It’s been a busy four months since I last posted, and for that Dear Readers, I am sorry. The last week of August added a new title to my name: Professor. It also added a rich, new dimension to my life that I never expected. It has also kept me quite busy. Between my seventh and eighth graders and my first and second-year graduate students, I find myself fully immersed in literacy. And I love it!
I’ve been reading a lot during these months. And yes, I have failed to even post to my “What I’m Currently Reading” page.
When my alarm went off on Monday, January 2, I was less then thrilled to get out of bed. It was dark and cold. And of course, I was still in vacation mode, having just had 5 days off from school. However, there were some perks of returning to school on the 2nd – one was absolutely no traffic on my commute and the other was reconnecting with my students. In homeroom on Monday morning, I expected a quiet bunch, and I got what I expected. However, as the day went on, I also got the run-down of gifts that Santa brought the good boys and girls I teach. I expected to hear about the video game systems and video games they got. Instead I got quite a surprise.
One of the great joys of being a middle school teacher is the time within the block when my direct instruction is over, and my students are applying the lesson taught to real world setting. Once the students are working – on their own, in small groups, in larger groups, or going back and forth between independent and group work – my classroom becomes a rather hectic place. There are 28 young adolescents with a myriad of needs. As I move around the room checking in with students, providing more clarification, or conferencing with students, I also get the chance to just observe the students. If I do this right, I can watch and listen without the students realizing I’m there (if they know I’m standing and watching them, they’ll tense up and try to produce something that they think I want). It’s during this time watching them that I start to question both their product and my pedagogy. It’s during these times of observation that I grow the most as a teacher. As a result of observations over the course of the year, I have noticed an interesting reading trend in my classroom. I don’t know what it means or why it’s happening. It’s just one observation of millions during the first five months of the school year.
As someone who’s mother used to tell her, “It’s a beautiful day. Get your nose out of your book, and go outside,” I don’t quite understand the reluctant reader. Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t. I understand not wanting to read something you’re forced to read (Moby Dick), I understand not having time to read (writing grad school papers), I understand needing a break from reading (yeah, sometimes I do). But I just don’t understand not ever wanting to read. Because I don’t understand it, as a language arts literacy teacher, I’ve become a bit fascinated by it.