I have something miraculous to tell you about.
Our 7th and 8th graders have designated library time in their schedule every week. This time comes with one rule: you can’t read anything assigned to you. Whatever you’re reading has to be something that’s exclusively for enjoyment. From e-readers to magazines to Narwhal and Jelly for the 14th time, there are no limits, it just has to be something you love.
But here’s the thing – this time is not built into the schedule. To make it work, every adult on the 7/8 team works overtime to carve out this magical hour. And I should note that the hour itself isn’t planning time for them, either: they stay in the library with their classes, sitting and reading right alongside them, for the full 60 minutes.
The hardest thing about middle schoolers is that they’re always watching, and our actions speak so much louder than our words. So when we say “reading is important” but we don’t make any time for it in the schedule, they notice. And when we say “reading is fun” but we choose to work on something else while they read, they notice. And so our teachers do the work, walk the walk, talk the talk, and our students notice. And it changes them.
Teachers are busy. It’s miraculous to see this team go above and beyond to help students remember why they love reading. And it’s miraculous to see them prioritize dedicating that time to reading themselves. I have an amazing team. This is where the magic happens, ya’ll.