Summer is an amazing time as a teacher. The challenges of our job are offset by the gift of summers off. As a two teacher household, our family appreciates this time tremendously and we are not naive to the privilege of this time together that most professions do not offer.
As a teacher librarian, the summer offers me another type of freedom. During the school year I focus my reading on books for the library, the latest YA novels, professional development texts, inspiring picture books, the OLA Forest of Reading selections and more. I love every minute of it but, I rarely choose to read outside of this realm from September to June.
Summer reads for me are a blank canvas of opportunity. So this summer I decided to create my own reading challenge. In the past, challenges for students and adults have often focussed on quantity of pages or books read. Occasionally genre challenges offered an alternative but, still reading logs and quantity were highly valued. A recent tweet from an American conference reminded me why these challenges often fail or feel too daunting.
This simple image reminded me why adults and children alike often give up on these prescribed, one size fits all, teacher-directed challenges.
So this summer I decided to challenge myself to reflect on my strengths and areas of growth as a reader. Yes, I have been reading for almost 40 years but I can still reflect on myself as a reader.
So here are my personal reading challenges for the summer:
- for every fiction book I complete I will follow it with a work of non-fiction
- I will increase my repertoire of Canadian authors and content
- I need to develop my knowledge of First Nations, Metis, Inuit authors, experiences, history and current events
- I am still lacking experience with the world of graphic novels
I hope to stick to these goals and document them through blogging about those texts that frustrate or inspire me enough to do so. Notice no requirement to document them all as proof I am on track. I am accountable to myself and my own learning goals.
I just finished this popular book set:
And thanks to the generosity and knowledge of a colleague I will start this one next:
Feel free to join me and set your own reading/learning challenge for the summer – I would love to hear all about it!