Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thanks for All of the Support

Thanks for all of the kind words and thoughts. I had written that blog to vent my frustration, never realizing I would get the responses I have.

Jen - Thanks for listening. Blogs like yours are what has inspired me in so many ways and introduced me to the world of blogging. I actually found some of the blogs I now follow by going down your blog roll.

Teachmama - I have check out your site and will definitely return. I look forward to more reading conversations with you.

Kevin - Don't despair. My vent sounded very negative, but I refuse to throw in the towel. There are too many teachers who don't care and just go with the flow. We need to stay the course.

Ruth - We need people like you to continue the fight. So many librarians in our schools don't interact with the kids. Our district got rid of most of our reading coaches. My reading coach was transferred into our library where she is excited because she can bring new books in and get them into the hands of our students. I so look forward to working with her this year.

Anne - I am still somewhat of a quiet rebel. I have sent a copy of Readicide by Kelly Gallagher and The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller to our new School Superintendent. Whether anything will come of this I don't know. Those two books are what started me on this path. From a shy girl in high school who couldn't look other students in the eye to what I have become is quite an accomplishment. Maybe it has to do with the passion I feel for education and reading in particular.

Amy - like you I am a woman of faith and prayed before I sent the books to our new superintendent. I figure the worse that can happen is that I will be fire. If that is the case I also believe God will open another door. (Maybe he'll allow my book to find a publisher). Either way I've known since I was in 4th grade I was to be a teacher and I will continue to fight for the rights of our students. The rights to learn to read independently, for pleasure and to becom life long learners. Too often the attitude is just get them through school and graduated. What next?

Wendi - I agree we have done some damage in this country to all of education. The problem is we let companies take over education and tell us how and what to teach.

To anyone and everyone else who reads my blog - As school starts up next week for me I won't be reading a book or more a day and blogging about it. I will probably be down to once or twice a week. That is okay. I have always read for pleasure, especially YA books. I tell my mother every summer when I bring in or purchase 60+ books that it is my summer homework. I must read them so I can recommend them to my students. How can we turn kids on to books if we don't read them. That is another problem. So many reading teachers I talk with think I am crazy for the number of books I read. I have read over 73 novels since June 5th, my last day of school before summer break. Yes I found time to write, paint, got some quilting in and of course library days and sleepovers with my granddaughter. She currently has 34 books at my house. She enters, gives me a hug and goes to "Her Cabinet" to get out "Her Books". Looking at my grand-daughter's love of books and knowing how much her mother, my daughter, struggled with reading yet has made it an important part of their life gives me hope for future generations. My own daughter was like one of the students I teach. If she could be turned into a reader because of a teacher, not me, who took the time to find an author she would love then how can I do less. Her 7th grade reading teacher required 4 Historical Fiction novels a quarter which seemed impossible to my daughter until she read books by Ann Rinaldi, recommended by this teacher who valued reading. I will always appreciate her for doing what I was unable.

Okay I will get off of my soap box now and just close by saying thanks to all of you for your support. Let those teachers in your area know you support them. Sometimes it is nothing but your kind words of support that will lift them up and spur them on.


  1. Sandra,

    Your post reminds us all of the importance of choice and freedom in developing lifelong readers and self-actualized teachers. I have posted a link to your entry on my Book Whisperer blog. Perhaps your bravery and dedication will inspire other teachers to take a stand and do what we ethically must for children.

  2. Sandra,

    I echo what Donalyn says. Thanks to you for taking a stand and caring about what's best for your students as life-long learners.

    I also linked back to your original post with a few thoughts of my own. My thinking was if a YouTube clip about a very clever wedding entrance could go viral, why not something as important as our children's lives as readers? I felt the need to pass along your message.

  3. Sandra:
    Regarding teachers who don't read, when I was an administrator, I always asked people in job interviews, "what are you reading and tell us about it." Now that I'm back in the classroom (my choice!) I still recommend asking that question. How CAN you teach kids to love reading if you don't have it yourself?

    Columbia City, OR