When you need to just shut the classroom door and do what you know is right even when it seems to fly in the face of dictates or policy – through research, through professional experience – we call that “going rogue”.
Recently, I heard someone higher on the food chain that I, say that “we don’t read for fun or enjoyment” any more. Seriously. After I picked my chin up off the table, I began to think about this. And the person was totally correct; we don’t read for fun. We read for purpose and it is frequently not that much fun. For anyone.
Before someone jumps on me for not be instructional, I do use literature to demonstrate, model, and instruct. Focused literacy lessons using carefully selected genres and books are necessary to expose students to lots of things they need to become more advanced and literate readers. Totally on board with the concept. But shouldn’t there be some room for fun? Shouldn’t kids have some time when teacher reads aloud for pure enjoyment? A time when minds are engulfed in imagination? If we are raising a generation of readers, shouldn’t THAT be part of the curriculum, too?
This past week, I have gone off the grid not once, but twice. I have gone rogue. Oh the horror – I read two texts just for fun. And guess what? My students APPLAUDED when I completed the book! They enjoyed it.
I hope any of my administrators who read this will understand, it is not because I wish to be contrary or defiant. I do this because I believe that if we don’t include modeling WHY we read for recreation, we’ve missed the boat on a major purpose for reading. Along with being college and career ready, we need to foster habits for inquiring minds that will take these kids into their adulthood. We need to read because it is fun.
So, expect me to include reading simply for enjoyment more frequently. I am going rogue.