Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why Teachers Need a Reading Community, Too!

As teachers, we want to our kids to feel connected to reading and books and each other. But 'ften we forget about ourselves. We neglect our own reading lives for the sake of others.

Until recently, I thought I was an avid reader. I'm always reading and share books with my students. I'm part of several book groups on Social Media including the #WeCantPutBooksDown crew and loyal follower of The Nerdy Book Club. Yet, my reading life was still missing something.

As I became part of my first book club since circa 2008, I realize now I was missing my tribe. I was alone out there reading and sharing books. But like Brain in Hatchet, I was sending out all my thoughts and ideas out into a dark woods. I'd get feedback and share but I wasn't part of something bigger, something better until #GetBooked.

Just look at all our buzz surrounding Kwame Alexander's upcoming novel Booked....



Although, I've been part of many reading groups and book clubs. I know these people are my tribe. I can't thank Stacey, Beth, Scott, Kristen, Jimmy, and Nicole for making my reading life a little a lot brighter! I've always loved reading but now I'm ECSTATIC about reading! I get pumped when I see Voxer messages or our #GetBooked tag on Twitter. I'm surrounded by so many great and wonderful readers. I fit in. I'm out of my reading rut.

Its hard to put into words the feeling you feel when we find a group of people that share your passion and love for reading. You feel like you fit in and that your ideas matter. I know as a teacher, I'm always putting my students first. This time, they suffered because I was not my best reader. I needed my tribe to find my voice.

Why do reading communities matter?

1. They give us an outlet for sharing and collaborating.

2. They create friendships and a support network for before, during, or after reading.

3. Reading communities help us make plans for what to read next and set a purpose for reading.

4. Provide you with some energy and renewed enthusiasm for reading.

5. Model real life reading habits and practices to your students.

6. You know you have a place to rant, rave, or cry depending on the novel.

7. Book talks and excitement surrounding reading.

8. Helps you find your voice. {Thank you Voxer!}

9. Communities make us feel connected to the books, each other & the world.

10. You feel like your thoughts and ideas matter. #AllYouNeedIsLove


Happy Reading, 


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18 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thank you so much for this post! I am a 4th grade teacher and I love to read but have no community outside of my students. Can you recommend where I might find a good teacher community book club that offers interaction along with reading? I read all of the blog posts but that isn't the same as community in reading :)

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    1. I totally agree! I find my best reading buddies via Twitter! We met during title talks and slowly become friends outside of the world of Twitter! I also joined Good Reads which is a great outlet as well to make connections but I did that after I made some friends on Twitter. I also used Instagram to help find people in my reading tribe. I would take snapshots of my books or ask what others were reading. Leading to finding teachers that were wanting to share and discuss topics about reading. A small group of us use the #WeCantPutBooksDown to share our current readings and have interaction. There is also #titletalk on Twitter at 8pm on the last Sunday of the Month. Run by Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisper) this is a great way to chat about reading and meet LOTS of great new people and hear wonderful ideas! Colby Sharp and Mr. Shu also do a #sharpshu tag and chat as well to discuss books. Twitter is where I've found my best book friends!

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    2. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I have been doing a lot of looking on #wecantputbooksdown. I love that hashtag :) I have a hard time understanding Twitter and how it works but I will try it again and check out the suggestions. I love Donalyn Miller so will definitely have to check that one out.

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    3. Do you belong to any particular groups on Good Reads?

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