Post 21 on the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging Challenge: Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.
I have been looking at other posts with the #reflectiveteacher hashtag and am struck by the varied interests and hobbies! I reflect on my own interests and realize, not for the first time, that I’m not outdoorsy, I don’t play an instrument, and I am not particularly active (yes, I know I have to work on that one). Five years ago I followed my passion for technology in education and left classroom teaching to take on my current role. That’s my hobby, but it’s also my work. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two overlap.
Another main interest is reading. I read a lot professionally (Twitter and Google+ are among the top two resources for my learning), but I also read for pleasure. I’m in two book groups and love it when someone picks a book that otherwise I would not have heard of or chosen on my own. Reading broadens my horizons, takes me to new places, and helps me grow and learn.
When I was a classroom teacher, I loved reading to my students. ‘Chapter books’ were a joy to read, especially those by Roald Dahl. Reading The BFG was a bi-annual treat for many years. We followed the Iditarod each year. I always needed a student to read the last chapter of Stone Fox, as I couldn’t do it without crying. I also love ‘picture books’ and incorporated them into both the content curriculum as well as the social-emotional curriculum. Of course, books by Peter Reynolds, The Dot, Ish, The North Star, and Sky Color are among my favorites. Those books made their mark on me. Even though I’m no longer in the classroom, I hold strong memories of the joyful experiences brought forth through literature.
In recent years, I think perhaps because I see librarians sharing their favorite books on Twitter, I have been drawn to books that help us appreciate the differences among us. Some that stand out are Wonder, The One and Only Ivan, and Out of My Mind. These books have impacted my work and interactions with students immensely. If you haven’t read them, please do.
Image created at Quozio.com