Schools that Read Together: Cultivating Reading Communities at the Secondary Level by Heather Rocco

Here is an inspiring project by a middle school and high school to encourage young people to read. This truly warms my heart. I hope to one day be a part of such an initiative.

Nerdy Book Club

Approximately three years ago, Chatham Middle and High School teachers implemented an independent reading initiative for their students. There are many components to implementing an effective independent reading program, especially at the middle and high school levels.  To explain all we did (and do) requires a much longer blog post or, say, full texts written by brilliant educators like Donalyn Miller or Penny Kittle (our IR muses).  Instead, I’d like to focus this brief post on one of the most surprising, yet inspiring results of our independent reading initiative.  This initiative strengthened our school community.  

All our students have one thing in common – books.  They are readers.  They know the classmate sitting next to them reads.  They know their teachers read.  They know that they belong to this community.     

Community of Readers

Books bring people together.  Readers have book clubs, book stores, libraries, used book sales, GoodReads…

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Commas, They’re Important!

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I’m an avid Etsy shopper, for those of you who don’t know.

I found this gem at the Get Your Nerd On shop, and just had to share.

This shop has so many witty prints for geeks/nerds, and if you’re into wall art definitely check it out below.

Use Commas – Poster

Get Your Nerd On – Shop

Here are some of my favorites!

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Blogging Old School

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I was blogging old school about video games from a tender young age. Just look at that proof!

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Happy Saturday!
That is all.

Random Topic #1: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

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I think the only constant in my desires for a career as a child were animals. I always wanted to do something that was related to animals.

Some of the first careers told to you as a child were:

  • Doctor
  • Teacher
  • Astronaut
  • Pilot
  • Veterinarian
  • Firefighter
  • Police Officer
  • President
  • Soldier
  • Actor/Actress
  • Writer
  • Artist

Of course, I wanted to be a veterinarian! I mean, it is the highest or near the highest paying career you can have that involves animals. I guess they really wanted us to shoot high! Go big or go home, eh?

So for a few years that was my default answer any time an adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a child, that was a common enough question. As an adult that does the asking or hearing others that ask, I wonder if we just do it to hear the cute answers they give us. I don’t think many adults take it seriously. I mean, we just sort of chuckle when they tell us that they want to be an astronaut or doctor, right?

Returning to the original topic, my answer to this question changed a few times. One that I remember particularly was that I wanted to own a pet treat business. I wanted a little shop where I could make homemade pet treats for pet owners! I’m pretty sure that I got this idea from watching something on Animal Planet, haha.

A little while later, I got it in my head that I wanted to be an animal trainer. I wanted to understand animal behavior and work with them in that respect. I’m sure I really had my heart fixed on working with more exotic animals, but I think I would’ve settled for dogs and cats.

I have to admit that I have many interests and passions. Throughout middle school and high school, the answer of what career I wanted changed a few times. They included animal behaviorist, environmentalist, writer, teacher, translator, and historian to name a few.

Because of my indecisiveness, I’m very glad that I decided not to start college right out of high school. That would have ended badly for me and my finances.

As an adult, I can now confidently say that I want to go to school to study English as my major with the hopes of working at a publishing company. I really want to be a driving force in releasing new books into the world. I want to make a difference in helping the book industry survive even as things convert digitally. I believe it is really important for young people to develop a passion for reading if not just an interest.

If not a publishing company for books, then I’ll probably seek out an online magazine or website to write for. I think I’ll be happy as long as I’m contributing in some form or fashion.

Here’s to hoping that works out!

So, as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 

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How Introverts Can Change How We Think

So I’ve had a few questions rolling around in my mind for a while.

Does society generally reject introverts? Are they very much misunderstood?

I think, yes.

This question came up because of a frustrating situation that I encountered at a party. It was an average party with food, music, people, fun, ect. Keep in mind that my personality leans more toward introverted, but I still enjoy the environment of a party! Shocked?

So there I was enjoying the party much like everyone else. I ate, talked, and danced to a few songs that I liked. As time went on, I watched as the extroverts continuously tried to pull the introverts to the dance floor. Because, well, how could they possibly be having a good time unless they were doing it in the same method as the extroverts? That just didn’t make sense.

Eventually, I was spotted. I had been sitting through one too many songs, and so of course I wasn’t enjoying myself.  (I hope everyone is catching the sarcasm.)

Why aren’t you dancing?”, “You should go dance!” – Or my favorite: they run up to you, grab your arms, and pull at you until you go out onto the dance floor. Well, I didn’t. I’m stubborn like that.

I just wanted to ask them, “Why?” I was having a perfectly good time doing what I was doing. I’m an adult. I know how I enjoy my time after twenty-five years on this earth.

Why is that if you aren’t experiencing your surroundings as an extrovert would, people think that you are unhappy, unmotivated, and/or just not having a good day?

Introvert

Are we really living in a time and society that is still so misguided about what it means to be an introvert?

Introversion means that the person generally thinks before he/she speaks and acts. They’re drawn to internal stimulation versus external. Extroversion is the opposite; they draw energy from their surroundings, people, ect.

That being said, it should also be said that people can’t be sorted into either type. You are not solely one or the other because personalities are too complex. You may lean toward one more than the other, and that’s when it becomes obvious to you and others.

I tend to lean toward introversion. While I like to talk and dance, there are times that I prefer not to. It has nothing to do with me being unhappy.

When we are young, it’s more accepted to be introverted. “Oh, he/she is just shy.” In some cases, it’s even considered cute! As you age, however, you are expected to “grow out of it”. It’s sad to say, but introverted children aren’t usually viewed in a good light by their peers and most adults. Some parents even think that something may be wrong with their children if they don’t grow out of it.

Ultimately, I think we live in a society that deems introversion as unacceptable and incorrect. While I understand that in order to work certain jobs and participate in certain activities to you need to acquire more extroverted traits, I don’t think it’s acceptable to put a stigma around introversion.

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There is nothing wrong with being introverted! In fact, I would be the first to encourage extroverted people to embrace introverted habits. Listen to your thoughts, pay attention, and try to develop self-awareness.

I think it would do a lot of good if society slowed down and truly took the time to turn their attention inward.

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Also, the below image = me! Although, that could be part introversion, part animal lover-ism. 😉

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So, are you an introvert? Are you an extrovert?

What do you think of how society views and treats introverts?

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