The last two books I have read for teaching are “The Book Whisperer” and “Readicide”. What do I read next? These two books have validated my teaching while at the same time challenged my thinking.
While reading “Readicide” I kept thinking about storming a board meeting and demanding they let mandate time for pleasure reading in our high school. As my first year of teaching fourth graders get closer to high school, I know they are in the beginning stages of readicide. Readicide is basically the destruction of the love of reading.
In my district high school blocks are 90 minutes. If they just took 5 minutes away from each block students would be able to read for 20 minutes. Before reading this book I was talking to a high schooler who gets bused to my elementary school each day after school (his mom is the principle). He said that kids would never read if they were given the time. Mr. Gallagher talks about how for 10 minutes students could get by not reading, but once it is extended to 20 minutes they won’t be able to help reading. If we provide students with time and high interest books we can help them keep the love for reading that they develop as young readers.
The most interesting point that he makes is when he says that we are doing the only thing worse than turning students off from reading, we are teaching them to hate it.
Thank you Mr. Gallagher for writing this book. I am going to do everything I can to get others to read this book, and to try and implement your suggestions. Hopefully, I can get these changes to occur before my students, and eventually my own children, enter high school.