I think that teachers tend to kill the love of reading in their students. What I mean is I think that a lot more people would enjoy reading if it weren’t for the aversion to it instilled by their teachers. Now obviously not every teacher does. Some foster a love of reading in their students. But the way some teachers go about assigning homework to go along with books is just…..wrong!

When I was in middle school, I remember having to read a bunch of books that were on some list that my mom had. Top 50 books needed to do well in college or something. I ended up loathing most of those books. ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Giver’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, ‘The Good Earth’, etc. Hated them with a passion! Sometimes it was because of the book itself. (Let’s face it: Hemmingway wasn’t the most engaging of authors.) Other times it was because of the work I had to do to get through the book. Vocabulary lists and sentences using words I didn’t know. It would take me an hour to get through one chapter. Looking back, I think I might have actually enjoyed ‘The Giver’ had I been allowed to simply read it. Maybe if my mom had read along with me and we were able to discuss it. Or I was told to look for themes throughout the book or something. But vocabulary lists? Ugh!!!!! I doubt I could now tell you any of those words that I was supposedly “learning”.

And maybe that’s just personal preference. Some people don’t mind doing vocab. lists compared to having to discuss the book. I have no idea how they do stuff in public classrooms. But I have a feeling it’s similar to what we did in my high school co-op. We read the books, maybe answered some questions, discussed the books, wrote stuff about what we discussed. Even though I didn’t particularly like ‘Huckleberry Finn’, my favorite project in that class was from that book. And I loved ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘Farenheight 451’ because they were good stories and I was allowed to enjoy them. I think that was helpful in renewing my love of reading because for awhile I was getting to the point of not being able to enjoy it.

I know I’m not going to be teaching reading or assigning books to my preschoolers but I do intend to be very careful in that I foster a love of whatever we’re doing in them. I don’t want to be the one who creates an aversion to something wonderful. Which is fairly hard to do at that age but it’s still something I intend to keep in mind as I pursue my teaching degree and teach these kids about our world.