CLASSROOM LIBRARY-Those are two separate rooms in most schools. You have a classroom full of learning, and you have a library full of books. Well after reading blogs by Sarah Anderson and Penny Kittle, both high school English teachers, I have learned it doesn’t have to be two separate rooms. These women both take their own time and money to build up libraries in their classrooms for their students to read. They both are on a journey to get students to enjoy reading in all forms. They are there to allow students to figure out their own style of books, and to push them in the right directions. As we have talked about before if you only have students reading classics, which half the class doesn’t read, then are they learning to love reading or is it a chore? Well with these two women it is showing teachers how well letting the students chose their own books is working. The student’s get a love of learning which allows them to get into the harder classics which are still worth reading. It is just difficult if that is all they are expected to read. By creating a student library full of all genres and YA lit books it allows students to dig in and try new things in a comfortable place.
I had never though about it before, but I know now I will have a classroom library to help my student’s grow. Though while thinking through this I found myself asking the question of school expectations. I know in my school none of my teachers had pushed us to read outside of the classics, and didn’t seem to really care. Though this could just be what they were taught. I know each school has its own expectations of what will be taught, and of course grades are priority #1. How do you grade reading when everyone is different? I believe at my school each English teacher was offered a few classics to choose between to teach that semester and for each grade level. I also know each grade was assigned a certain Shakespeare play. You cannot fight or get out of these obligations, it is a part of the job you signed up for. So how do you on top of these readings you HAVE to do, allow students time to read on their own without overwhelming them? I would love to go back and teach at the high school I graduated from and incorporate what I have been learning in all of my classes. I think the main thing to my concerns will be balance. I need to balance what is expected of me as a teacher, with what I am wanting for my students. I will not be the teacher that sits by and allows my students to pretend to read the assignments, and just give them a grade on it.