Saturday, 17 November 2012

How do you find time to read?

The other day, in the staff room, we were talking about a book and someone asked, "How do you find time to read?" Some agreed with the question. Some scoffed at the comment and added, "Ya. How is it you have a life outside of work?"

I wanted to start on my rant about how we're educators. How is it we can NOT read if we're expecting kids to read?? I didn't though. That never really helps.

The truth is, perhaps it has nothing to do with being an educator. I have always somehow found time to read. I don't do all these things all the time, but I guess I do enough because somehow it always ends up that I read a book or two or three a month.

So, to answer the question: How do you find time to read?

  • I read a lot as a kid. I remember we'd go to town when we lived out in the country. We'd stop at the library first and get a stack of books. Then my mom would run around and do her errands. I'd sit in the truck and read (I have no clue what my brother and sister did....I was totally distracted by books). After errands were finished, we'd go back to the library, return those books, and get some more to take home.
  • If I haven't read it, I likely have read about it and can converse about it. I have a lot of memories reading in school. In elementary school, I was a big Nancy Drew fan. In high school, I wasn't a big fan of required reading. As a matter of fact, I rarely read those books. Cliff notes sufficed. I hated being told what to read. I guess I have always been a big fan of choice.
  • When I was in University, I found little snippets of time to read. I'd read on the bus. I kept a book with me at all times so that when I was waiting, I could read. When I was early to class, I'd spend a few minutes reading.  Although I spent a lot of time being frustrated that I didn't have more time for pleasure reading, I did find ways to sneak it in.
  • When I worked at the airport for Pacific Western, I'd read at the gate while waiting for a plane. Sometimes, when I started work at 5:00 am and the first flights weren't until 7:30 am (those were before the days of crazy security requirements that had people at the airport 2 hours prior to flights....instead they showed up within the hour), I sat and read while alone at the check in counter. 
  • When I first had babies I read while I was nursing. There was a lot of reading that got done then! I can definitely nurse with one hand and read with the other hand. When they were older, I read when we went to the park. I read while they played in the yard. I read while I waited for them at swimming lessons and dance lessons and gymnastics. I read a lot back then!
  • I read when I wake up. I am committed to reading The Book of Mormon every day. I usually roll over, grab my iPad, and read off my Ipad. I make myself do that before I check Facebook. Funny how we have to play those games with ourselves. I teach a Sunday School class to 14-17 year olds though, and I can't fake it very well in front of them - so I have to read the reading for the lesson each week.
  • I often read when I'm eating breakfast. No one else is up, or at least no one else is in the kitchen - so I sit at the table and read while I eat.
  • I spend a lot of time waiting for my kids at the pool. I read while I wait. I used to sit and talk with the other parents. Sometimes I still do - but I found a lot of the conversations often led down a path of negativity - so I'm careful about the time I sit around chatting. I read instead.
  • Our school has DEAR time (drop everything and read). I read during DEAR time.
  • I have a motto in life: Always bring a book. I keep a book with me all the time so that when I have those unexpected waits at the doctor or at a meeting or waiting for a ride or waiting for a kid, I can read. About a month ago, we all got in the car to go watch Conference. My husband suddenly came up with the idea that we should drive to Banff to watch it (and he would!) I had a sudden sense of panic. I didn't have a book!
  • Although, I don't want to totally recommend it, I do read while doing other things. Sometimes I read while vacuuming. It makes the job take way longer, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!
  • I usually read before I go to bed. Although lately, I find I go to bed and within 5 minutes I realize I've just closed my eyes for 10 minutes or so and end up putting the book away.
  • Sometimes we have reading dinners. I'll tell the kids to bring a book to the table, and we all read our own book (I know. Miss Manners would be horrified)
  • I read for recreation. That means sometimes on a Sunday afternoon I'll read for 3 or 4 hours. You can get a lot of reading done if you read for 3 or 4 hours straight.
  • I read on Friday nights with my kids, especially if Allen is out on appointments. I invite them to come into my room, snuggle up in the bed, and we all have our own book.
  • I read with Peirce before he goes to bed. I don't do it as much as I'd like to - but we try to do it quite often. Sometimes Jill and I read the same book. We should do that more.
Things I don't do:
  • I don't really watch TV. I'm going to cancel cable one of these days too. We just don't use it. Don't bother telling me about the latest show everyone is into. I have nothing for those conversations. I'm okay with that.
  • I don't sit around much. If I do, I usually grab a book.
  • I don't shop for recreation or spend time wandering malls (painful!)
  • I do crafts (although I like them!) or sew (although I'd like to!)
  • I don't clean much house as much as I should (I'm sure my mother is horrified, and my grandmother rolls over in her grave now and then)
What inspires me to read:
  • I love it. I always have.
  • I love discussing books with other people.
  • I read blogs about books and that's how I find great books to read
  • I want my kids to be readers
  • I believe reading is important
  • I want my students' truly develop a love of reading

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Student Letters

Every week my student's write a letter to one student (the Star Student for the week). Here's one of my recent favorites from a boy in the class:

Dear ____:

You are a good girl. I think about you as a good friend. I hope you have lots of friends. I hope you get taller when you get older. You are a silly, funny and creative girl. You are a cool cat. You are also a fun girl. You ask a lot of questions.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Remembrance Day

We have a budding artist in our house! I'm really happy with how excited Peirce is lately about things going on in his classroom. I attribute his enthusiasm to a teacher with a great attitude. It's a great thing to see as a parent.

They had a contest for Remembrance Day. This was Peirce's contribution. He found a picture on a blog and made his own version using charcoal, pastels and pencil.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Reading Heroes

This past weekend I enjoyed the long awaited treat of being able to attend the Kaleidoscope Conference. It was as good as I hoped it would be. I left inspired. I also left with a long list of books I'd like to read soon!

One of the speakers I listened to was a man named David Bouchard. He is a former teacher, a writer, and a Metis. He had a lot of little lists of things to remember (how to raise a reader: Read to them, Rule the TV, and reach into your pocket and buy books). One of the other things he talked about was how it just takes one book to get a kid hooked on reading and you have to work hard to keep providing them with great books so that they do get hooked. He also talked about how kids need reading heroes - someone who inspires them to read and love reading.

Today at school I did reading fluency assessments with my class. I took the time to ask almost every one of them if they like to read, and what they like to read. It was interesting to me that when I asked them about what their favorite author was, or what their favorite chapter book was, many of them said their favorite author is Roald Dahl, and their favorite chapter books are The Witches and The Twits.

We are reading The Witches in class, and The Twits is the book we picked for Grade three book club this month. It made me stop and think for a moment. Maybe I really am doing it?! Maybe these kids are becoming addicted to reading thanks to things I have chosen to do with them.

I hope so! The conference this past weekend really reminded me how important reading is, and helped me recommit to spreading the love of reading to others. It's nice to get such positive feedback so soon after recommitting to the great cause of reading!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Remembering Destiny

I work with the greatest people. One of my co-workers brought me this today to remember Destiny because today was the day she was delivered.

I told her my bucket was full....and it caused my eyes to leak  So kind!!

I did pretty good today until she brought me the flower.

Destiny would have been in kindergarten this year. Imagine, we would have had a kindergarten child?! There's a little girl in the class across the hall that has hair like I did when I was that age. I wanted to give her big hugs today.

My little, Destiny.

Love you.

Monday, 5 November 2012


This week Jill gets to go to a leadership conference. The conference is at the zoo and she will be late for swimming if she goes back with the transportation they've provided so tonight we showed her how to use the c-train and the bus to get from there to the pool. She has come a long way! This past summer she started using the bus. She got stranded a few times after getting on the wrong bus and was really stressed about it. Now she is really good at rolling with it.

Peirce on the other hand, is much happier to stay close under my wing. He came with us tonight. When we were walking home it was dark and he hung on to me pretty tight. Once, as we walked along, a car right beside us started up. He about jumped out of his skin! I'll miss these times. It won't be long until he's too cool to show any fear. I enjoy having him as my little boy still!

Saturday, 3 November 2012


I read a hilarious blog on the rules of Halloween. My family could have written those rules. They live by those rules! They don't know about the extra mask idea though. I wonder if I should bring it up.

Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Peirce invited his friend, Anthony, to go trick or treating. With Anthony comes his sister. They always have a great time. Jill's getting too old, but somehow she still managed to go trick or treating. Allen takes them out and I stay home and hand out candy. We had more trick or treaters this year than we have ever had. I think it was partially because it was really cold. Some parents drove their kids around to people they knew - so I got to see more of our little friends. It was quite fun. I'm always a bit of a party pooper leading up to Halloween - but the night of Halloween is always a good time.

Now, what are we going to do with all this candy??!!