Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which book bloggers muse about about something related to books. (Usually.) Rants, raves, random thoughts are all welcome here. I personally will be using Musing Mondays to talk about my other job: being a middle school librarian.
Musing Mondays / School Library Updates
Today I want to talk about Summer Reading. Does anyone remember their teachers or librarians pushing for summer reading, outside of the public library reading program?
I sure don't. Sadly, I didn't push it to my students this past year either. The truth is, the summer gets busy. We all say summer is a vacation, but for me I feel summer is my busiest season! With house cleaning finally underway, cheerleading practices 3 times a week, fundraisers, camps, craft fairs, and preparing for the next school year, I don't get much reading done. I don't want my students to feel like they need to go without sleep just to read. I know this sounds backwards, but I don't want to ruin reading for those students who are on the verge of NOT being readers. If a student loves to read, they will. If a student is pushed too hard, they won't.
I can tell you most books I have 'hated' were books I was forced to read in school. I know what I like to read, when I like to read and where. I can't focus sitting in a hard chair, elbows held up at an awkward angle.. It sucks.
This summer I have started and abandoned more books than I have read, because I was forcing myself to read. I was burning myself out. Most avid readers have that feeling once in awhile. That burn-out. Not feeling joy from reading, nothing seems to 'hit the spot' and you feel like you are just wasting time. This is NORMAL and I feel many of my students don't know that. They don't think it's ok to read a burn-out, which I feel is a disservice to our future readers and book bloggers. This year I am going to REALLY hit hard that idea that taking a break from reading, or going back to a 'fluff' read to get back into things is 'bad.'
This post is getting wordy, but let me reiterate: I will not force my students to read. I will continue to give them options, and hope they make a connection. However I will not and can not force them into something.