Thursday, November 25, 2010

Love of Reading Is Caught

Love of reading is caught not taught. The reason Oprah Winfrey has been able to inspire millions of people to read the books in her Book Club is because she is an avid reader herself. It is not uncommon for her to read 3 books in a week-end. Therefore, she is in a position to discuss a book in a way that whets the appetite of others.

If teachers are to inspire their students to read they might want to consider how they can become more like Oprah in this regard. There are studies that have shown that most teachers do not read professional journals or books and only 25% of them read 3-4 books in a month. An additional 20% said they had read nothing in the last six months. Educators are not reading much more than the general population. Yet, they have the responsibility to help develop in their students a love for reading.

Administrators can help. Research about teachers has shown that in schools where their administrators talk about books and professional journals, the teachers read more on their own. Administrators can also encourage teachers to join professional organizations--maybe even paying for the membership--because educators who belong to professional organizations read more professional journals.

Some ideas for this post:
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

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