My Reading Life

Wednesday Evenings have become a favorite of mine thanks to Supper Club. Back in September, I hesitated to join this weekly event sponsored by Teachers College Reading and Writing Project because it involved another hour with a screen. Yet, the difference is I am not in change of engaging anyone on the other side of the screen. My camera is off. I’m muted. I just get to listen and be inspired. It’s a gift to me and has been the nudge I need to get over the hump and have the energy to keep going.

This week’s Supper Club guest was author, Kate Di Camilla! I so enjoyed seeing her, hearing her read, listening to her explain her writing process. She of course emphasized the power of reading which supports the ability to write well. She went on to say that every year she rereads books. Then she named Charlotte’s Web. “I did not read this book as child but now as a writer, I read it every year to try to figure out how E. B. White did it.”

This got me thinking about my reading life. I set a personal goal recently. After reading Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi this summer, I realized how much I don’t know as a white woman rasied in the white suburbs in the 60s and 70s. As Maya Angelou says, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know betterdo better.” So my personal goal is to read books by authors of color and read stories of characters who are nothing like me. Instead of mirror books, I’m actively reading window books and moving myself to cross the slide door threshold toward empathy and action. (You can read more about Dr. Rudin Sims Bishop research on books as mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors HERE).

Now you’ve read about Kate’s reading life and mine. How’s yours?

Here are the slides I shared with my students as a model for reflecting on the books we are reading:

PS. Thanks Fran McVeigh – reading your slice yesterday gave me the idea to write my slice today.
Fran also wrote about Supper Club HERE however, she focused what Kate said about revision.

12 thoughts on “My Reading Life

  1. lvahey says:

    I have missed too many Supper Clubs, yet every time I’m on, I am grateful for the learning, the wisdom, and the community of care that is modeled between TCRWP and their guests. Thank you for this Slice and for reading window books. This is such a powerful lesson for us as educators, and to share with students, too. The 57 Bus has taught me so much about what I didn’t know and didn’t understand. I wish more educators read that book – I may Slice about it soon!


  2. franmcveigh says:

    Ah, thanks for the shout out! I mentioned Shana’s “sit” and “stay” at the end of my post today. I’m still looking for that under Katie Wood Ray. Love the challenge of tracking down gems in TC work!


  3. Fran McCrackin says:

    I think the idea of windows and mirrors is so powerful and i love seeing the visual way you share it with your students. Also how you demonstrate your own reading goals and what it looks like to align reading goals with your values and live them .
    I hope many teachers will see this and follow your example. I hope you tag your posts and collect many followers!


  4. Beth Sanderson says:

    Your commitment to your reading goal is a powerful model for your students. And…look at all the fabulous books you read in service to your goal! I can’t wait until we can get together with coffee and talk books!


  5. Leah McFarlane says:

    What a great spin on Kate DiCamillo’s reading life. Your reading list is inspiring and I’m holding Maya Angelou’s quote close.


  6. mgminer says:

    I remembered when we saw Kate di Camillo at TC. She is so generous in sharing her self and her writing processes. I’m reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.


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