Teacher As Reader

Now, this may seem a bit obvious, but a teacher needs to read in order to be of any worth in the classroom. Reading is our primary method of finding and processing information, so why would we not?

Reading, to me, has always been the gateway to worlds that I would not have been able to reach before. As a child, reading was my escape. I was better friends with characters in my books than I was with the other children out on the playground. If you did not like the books that I did, we could not be friends. Now, as an adult and a college student, reading has become my link to the world around me. Whether it be news articles for the day, assigned pieces for homework, or Game of Thrones in bed at midnight, reading is how I have come to learn about the society in which I live and survive. It is how I take in the world and its happenings and how the world communicates with me.

As a teacher, I am discovering that reading, once a passion, is now a necessity. The more information I have at the ready for my students, the better I will be as a teacher. I  have learned recently that this applies no matter what subject I teach. One of my jobs is with the math department. I work as a Teacher’s Aid and a tutor for struggling students. Where is reading in this, you might ask? I have done research outside of class, reading up on different learning styles, different teaching techniques, and methods to help struggling students. Because I took the time to read, I am better able to help my students. When i work with English students, reading is not only a huge part of my life, but an essential part of theirs. It is a common thread that we can base our educational relationship on. I would be crazy to not read if this is the case! I may not be able to quote Shakespeare’s Macbeth line for line, but, having read it, I am able to have an intelligent conversation with those around me, professors and students alike, and better learn from them.

Teachers also need to practice what they preach. If I am going to tell my students that reading Catcher in the Rye is worth reading, then I better be reading myself. I can be a much more effective student if I am passionate about what I do. If I genuinely care about reading, why would I not share that passion with my students? It is something that can bridge some of the greatest gaps and show that I actually care about my students’ education, something that a lot of students do not realize and that teachers often forget to show.

Reading is the basis of education. Teachers are on the front line of education. When it comes to reading as teacher, the only question is “Why would you not?”

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