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! :)