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How To Jumpstart A Student's Love For Reading (A step-by-step guide)

The classroom is sometimes an area of frustration. I’ve had my share of complaints about an assignment of a one-page essay being too long to read or blank faces staring at me after I ask a simple question. On a day-to-day basis, it’s common. But it’s a teacher’s job to be resilient in times of classroom slumps such as this one. But better yet, it’s wise to be creative and proactive. In my case, the frustration in my head became too stressful that I had to do something about it. Before I ended my one-year teaching stint in a rural community, I hatched a plan to give them a new library section. See, the library in school had encyclopedias and almanacs but no fictions books at all. The project was successful and
here’s how I did it:

1. Get as close to the root of the problem as possible – My students know Facebook and excel in Farmville, but they struggle with their English. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they don’t have the capacity. Because they do.But I think this generation of young minds went straight to Googling rather than perusing through books. And it’s just not the same.

2. Brainstorm for Ideas – Realizing this, I thought of establishing a Fiction Book section for the school library. Students here associate books with serious activities like studying and researching, it’s time to make reading fun for them. I imagine the bookshelves to come alive with young adult fiction as well as contemporary classics from Roald Dahl (a personal favorite), Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Nancy Drew Series, J.D. Salinger (RIP), Judy Blume, JK Rowling, Enid Blyton and more.

3. Utilize your network and technology for help – I was a thousand miles away from home but I appealed to my friends through Facebook and email, explaining the situation and asking kindly for donations. They were than glad to help. In fact, word spread around and I got a couple of emails from strangers asking if they could also donate. Social networks and online communities are the gateway to connecting with people in different locations. With their different perspectives and resources, they might just have the solution for you.

4. Engage the community in your action project –The community also had to have their part in this project. After all, they will benefit from it. The main problem is the cost of shipping the books from Manila (North) to arrive in Mindanao (South). My principal advised me to write a letter of solicitation and present this to the parents. True enough, a lot of them were also eager to invest in their children’s education. So in the end, we raised enough funds for the books to be shipped.

5. Celebrate – All in all, 420 fiction books were donated and a whole shelf was filled to the brim with books from classic and contemporary authors. It was a dream come true.

Happy teachers' Day to all inspiring educators! :)

Comments

phoebealmeda's picture

i'm a new high school teacher

i'm a new high school teacher ... assigned in a public high school where i literally have to travel through bumpy roads every morning to get there... they don't have internet connection, but oddly enough they have this satellite dish which sets useless in the middle of a coconut grove, they don't have a library either because it was torched years ago, and students share books, 3 to 1 or "3 in 1" like coffee! as my students would say.

It's a school with a small population, Seven hundred plus students. I believe I can do so much for the school. I am hopeful to contribute something positive... I'm only starting.

amorlynn's picture

What subject do you teach?

What subject do you teach?

And wow, its tough to stay confident in such a situation. You're a hero, even if you're just starting. The challenge is to persevere. I hope you continue to be positive so you can be the match the lights the future of your students :)

phoebealmeda's picture

i teach English... it IS

i teach English... it IS frustrating at times but thanks to the internet I can find resources on how to get to my students and connect with them... I just want to be a good teacher.

and things like this adds encouragement. Thanks.

And by the way, we had a blast during the World Teachers' Day Celebration, the Seniors serenaded us and the rest showered us with flowers and cards! It was awesome!!!

jenchapin's picture

Hi

Hi amorlynn, I just want to say that you have a great writing style; it is really engaging and a joy to read! I love that you shared with us practical tools for getting resources to your school and am definitely inspired by your determination and perseverance. I would love to know how the students reacted to the books; have they been reading like crazy?

missjenn's picture

Hello

amorlynn,

I really enjoyed reading your amazing story! I love how your goal was very, very specific. Great piece. And very easy to follow. I admire your passion and focus.

I cannot agree more about getting to the very root of the problem. Unfortunately, it seems like many organizations and humanitarian movements address the symptoms and not the causes of the problem.

I hope we can keep in touch. I'm interested in hearing more about what you're doing for the world to benefit from.

Cheers,
Jenn

Khushbu's picture

Great!

Dear Amorlyn

It is really nice reading your post. I personally believe that reading is a joyful activity and nothing in the world can widen your knowledge horizons like reading can. Your idea of starting a fiction section in the library is great, because fictions are my personal favorite, and i am sure the students are going to learn a lot from your initiative.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers
Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

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