In Book Love, Penny Kittle challenges us as teachers: “Every student needs to know the power of a reading life. Dickens simply won’t matter to most twenty-first-century teenagers unless they have developed a love of books first – a trust that even the most difficult ones can be worthwhile. We can and must develop that trust every year in school.” (2013, p. 23)
Despite the grade we teach, we can undertake the mission to hook our students on books and instill a love of reading. Share your favourites. Read to your class every day: no exceptions. Talk to your students about books. Let them see you reading. Reveal your excitement. Feign excitement if you have to. Just do what it takes to hook them on books!
I urge you to read Neil Gaiman’s speech: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. The twelve or fifteen minutes it takes will confirm this all important mission that we undertake together as teachers.