Do you have to love reading to teach reading?
To some, that may seem like a rhetorical question. But.. if you are like most teachers, you spend no more than 10 minutes daily of your free time reading. It is understandable that life has demands that do not include sitting down with a good book but if your love affair with reading has died down, here are 7 reasons you may want to rekindle the love affair.
- Students who have teachers that communicate their love of reading, read more often and for more intrinsic reasons. If your students were surveyed, what percentage would say that you love to read?
- Teachers who love reading make learning to read a positive experience. Most adults who do not like to read recall negative experiences learning to read starting in elementary school.
- Students who see teachers who love to read know what to emulate. Be the same model of inspiration to your students as David Beckham is to soccer players.
- Teachers who love reading are more likely to make reading more social. Students who engage in social activities related to reading get more pleasure out of it and are likely to read more often, have peers that read more often, and are more likely to encourage their peers to read.
- Teachers who love to read are more effective at motivating struggling readers.
- Teachers who are good at teaching decoding strategies but do not share a love of reading are more likely to foster aliteracy (i.e. students who can read but choose not to).
- Students can’t catch what you’re not throwing. If you want students to be avid readers, you need to be an avid reader.
Teaching is a fine balance between science and art. (Tweet!) Students who are effectively taught how to read and how to love reading become life-long readers. (Tweet!) Doesn’t that sound like a perfect marriage? Now... go read a good book!
McKool, S. S. & Gespass, S. (2009). Does Johnny’s reading teacher love to read? How teachers’ personal reading habits affect instructional practices. Literacy Research and Instruction, 48, 264-276.
Powell-Brown, A. (2003/2004). Can you be a teacher of literacy if you don’t love to read? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47, 284-288.
Ruddell, R. B. (1995). Those influential literacy teachers: Meaning negotiators and motivation builders. The Reading Teacher, 48(6), 454-463.
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