Thursday, April 10, 2008

Biting My Tongue

Half of my students hate to read. Just today, I had to fight with a kid to put the book down and get to work.

"Do you MIND!?!?!" the crabby bookworm snapped. "I'm trying to READ here!"

"That's nice, but this is not reading time; it's time to work on your map."

"I can do whatever I want. If I want to read, I'll read."

"That's right. You are in complete control of this situation. Would you like to keep reading and have lunch detention today, or put the book away and get started on Social Studies?"

Then there's the other half:

"Why do we have to read this?"
"I just read a paragraph!? Why do I have to read another one?!"
"Can't you just read it to us?!"
"I did too read 100 minutes this week! See, my mom even signed it!"

What I'd like to say to that last one is: "Tell your mom I'm sick of her bullshit signature and I'd like her to get off her butt and make you read for real, cuz she is not helping you any by rescuing you from reading. I'm sure she'll be bailing you out of jail one day, too, but she might be able to avoid that by holding you accountable for something once in a while!!"

(Of course, I say nothing of the sort.)


  1. If you haven't grown up with a love of reading, it's a very difficult thing to develop. Not impossible, but difficult. But that's so frustrating, because reading is the best. I love reading. I'm even writing my PhD thesis on reading. *sigh* At least there are some, and you have to keep trying, right? =)

  2. I am an avid and often prolific reader. There will be times when I will read five novels in a week.

    You would think that I would simply through genetic osmosis pass that love on to my children...nay nay doggie breath, not so!

    My two oldest HATE to read. My daughter is in honors classes, carries a 4.0 plus GPA and HATES to read! IT'S WRONG!

    My son has dyslexia and ADD, and HATES to read, which is a bit understandable, even though he is also in the gifted program.

    Reading is and always has been like breathing to me. It's hard to understand why some people look at it as a CHORE!


  3. reading is a chore for my son...I feel for him because I love it...but now instead of signing his homework, i wrote a note saying he chose not to...and he had to stay in during recess...he has now stopped fighting me...quick learner, it only took once

    and i could never have imagined speaking to a teacher in this way! i would most likely have been beaten and my dad was a non-spanking kind of guy.

    and wouldn't it be nice to say something like that to some of these people.

    my best friend is a teacher...i'm amazed by you guys!

  4. wouldn't their eyeballs pop out if you said that!!

  5. you should just let them watch tv.

    of course, i'm kidding.

    you're patience amazes me.

    i could never do it.

  6. I've always had a great respect for the teaching profession. I know *I'd* never be able to do it, so I am grateful to those who can and do, because they care. You sound like one of those teachers, so thank you!

    I have four children. Two always liked to read, the other two hated it. I did my best to encourage all of them to read more anyway. Since I've always loved to read, I like to think I was also able to lead by example.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  7. I was always one of those kids in school who hated to have to put a book down in class to do some other kind of work. I'd often take whatever book I was reading and covertly insert it inside the fold of my math book and read it while I pretended to be paying attention to the lesson.
    Of course I regretted that later when I had a hard time with math!

  8. I'm with you--I love to read and I love it when my students love to read, but I don't like having to fight with them to do other types of work. But I'll still take that over my space cadets that can't focus since I'm not a video game!

  9. I am quite fond of your inner monologue. Those kids don't know what they're missing!!


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