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K12 Experts: How Principals Can Foster Reading in Their Schools

K12 Experts: How Principals Can Foster Reading in Their Schools

With the lure of technology circling around students' heads, it's hard for any principal or teacher to try to encourage reading in and out of the classroom. For principals, there are many tactics they can take to make sure that their students have books in their hands. 

So says K-12 leadership experts Jill Berkowicz and Ann Meyers in an article on EducationWeek.org. The authors then offer administrators tips on how to foster reading in their schools.

"A love of reading is contagious," the authors said in the article. "Some have found delight in reading fiction, taking a voyage into a mystery or adventure, or gaining insight into life through fictional characters. Others add to that delight an interest in non-fiction including biographies from which one can step into another's life experience. If you are a reader, you know what we mean. Reading a book is a beautiful thing."

One of their topics was for principals to "engender a love of reading. don't kill it."

Not everyone is what we have come to call a 'reader.' There are three types of teachers. One group are 'readers.' One group are not 'readers.' And the third group are 'either readers or not, who accidentally turn children off to reading.' In a post on his Brilliant or Insane website, Mark Barnes outlined 6 ways educators kill the joy of reading. His list includes:

  • Clinging to the classroom novel
  • The "Don't-read-ahead" directive
  • Telling kids what they can't read
  • Not reading in class daily
  • Assigning worksheets and book reports
  • Not celebrating the joy of reading

"These mistakes can be made by teachers no matter whether 'readers' or 'non-readers,'" they continued in the article. "There may be teachers who have not found the joy of reading a personal experience and they cannot fake it. Encouraging children to love reading requires authentic expression. Reading and writing literacy develop in part from the practice of reading and writing. The more one reads, the better a reader one becomes."

One of the last tips is to "question assumptions and make a difference."

"Create a reading corner in the faculty room; have an organized book exchange," they wrote. "Encouraging a joyful reading practice is not the same thing as modeling it. As teachers work to teach students about reading and encourage them to read, the principal as lead reader can affect the teachers...and the students! It all boils down to this: Be the change you wish to see. "

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

 

*Note: The original article is accessible through a tiered-subscription model*

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