As a classroom teacher, I always felt it second nature to share my reading life. After all, I had 28 beaming faces (well, most were beaming) looking at me each day to guide them as readers, writers, mathematicians, historians, and scientists. Sharing what I loved to read with my kids was a favorite part of the day. While book recommendations got a decent amount of energy going around some books, it didn’t take me long to realize that the long-term excitement I had hoped it would bring simply wasn’t there. The cycle went something like this–I (or a student) did a book talk, students got jazzed about that book, everyone wanted it (even the kids who had no intention of reading it), everyone read it (or pretended to), and then the inevitable, “Now what?” That last part always bothered me. Why was I always the one they looked to answer that question? I wanted them to answer it. Sure, I was happy to give guidance but this went beyond that. This was dependency. I would respond, “You tell me. What would you like to read next?” I don’t know.
成）为一个读者，作家，统计学者，历史学家或者科学家。而且和我的孩子分享我喜爱的读物的时候，是这一天中我最喜欢的一部分。 当我读了推荐图书的时候发现我在浪费我的能量一些本来可以绕过的书上，而且没有多久我就意识到我期待的 直截了当的长时间的读书刺激并不在那里。读书的量循环就像下面的故事一样，我或者学生讨论着一本书使得一些学生喜欢上了这本书，每一个人都想要读它（甚至是没有读写能力的小孩子也是）大家都不可避免的喜欢，那又怎么样呢。这样的想法总是使我烦躁。为什么每一次都是他们找我来解答问题呢？我想让学生们自己来解答这些谜团。我是一个喜欢在读书给出建议的一个人但是这些问题超出了建议。下一次我会这样说：你来告诉我吧。下一本书你想读什么？/或者干脆说我不知道呢亲
I realized I was only scratching the surface in sharing who I was as a reader. It was not enough to only share the texts I read and loved (or hated). They needed to know why these books did or did not work for me. That moment of clarity birthed my reader’s notebook.
I opened to the first page and began drafting an answer to that very question–who was I as a reader? In a matter of minutes I had memories spilling out of me from childhood summers, grade school days, high school hallways, and beyond detailing my unique experiences that turned me into a lifelong reader. From there, I drafted that narrative into “100 Things About Me as a Reader”- an idea I read about on another blog. It was incredible all that came back to me as I reflected solely on my reading experiences. Things I hadn’t thought about in years or even remembered at all suddenly came forth through my pencil, spilling onto the pages in smiles, sighs, and cringes.
I showed up the next day charging my students with the same task. They began writing about who they were as a reader. For some, this was quite difficult and they came up with strikingly little. I showed them my example and how I’d transformed my narrative into my “100 list” as we came to call it. I told them not be intimidated by the number, but rather to use it as a metric to really think about the many elements that make us a reader. Just as we learned that sharing books wasn’t enough to turn someone into a lifelong reader, it also wasn’t enough to simply label yourself as a lover or hater of reading. I encouraged them to dig deeper, to know why they felt that way. That’s what this was all about. I was also careful not to tell them “finish” their list, but rather to keep “adding to it.” I did not want this to seem like an assignment or task to simply get done. I wanted it to be an opportunity for reflection every time they opened a book. Therefore, the list may reach beyond 100. Or perhaps this year they might only get to 30. The number didn’t matter so much as the practice–purposeful self-reflection.