Holiday Reading and Educating

My Goodreads challenge (of reading 100 books in 2014) currently sits on 76, meaning I have just under three months to read 24 books. If you know me in the slightest, you will know that this is a very achievable feat. My new job as an English teacher means that not only do i have access to an absolute plethora of texts (my reaction to being shown the book room: Why yes, I can see a use for these *drooooling*) but I also need to be sure to stay current and diversify my reading choices. So when school holidays came a callin’, I packed my school bag not just with marking and planning, but also what I believe is known as a “buttload” of books:

Pictured/on my list:

  • The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (currently reading)
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (not pictured but just finished read, and OH My GOOOD I love it)
  • Batavia’s Graveyard – Mike Dash
  • The Thebean Plays – Sophocles
  • Blackrock – Nick Enright
  • Macbeth
  • Stone Cold – Robert Swindells
  • The Old Man And The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  • About A Boy – Nick Hornby
  • Rumble Fish – S. E. Hinton

Some of you may think “Happy Potter? Some diversifying missy!” and you would be right; however I am reading these (mostly) when my class is in the library doing silent reading, modelling successful reading practices to kids who would rather be on their phones.

I love going to the library for reading, and I’m very proud of the fact that I have recommended books to some of my years tens successfully (thank you Matthew Reilly!). Being a new teacher I feel like I’m still filled with a large amount of idealism and naivety about how much of an impact I can have. I get a lot of satisfaction from watching kids reading, and even more so from talking to them about their books. One of my year 11 boys is full of energy, a handful when he wants to be, and yet very sweet and helpful. He gets through a Half Blood Prince-sized book nearlly every day, according to his teacher from last year, and he is the last person who anyone would expect to be pestering me to go to the library, and yet he does! Just one of the things I love about my job, seeing that love and overwhelming appetite for reading in kids that I teach.

One more week of holidays left (not long enough), but I can’t wait to get back. I teach one class each of years 9-11, and am picking up the top year 11 class in about a month when my colleague goes on holiday. So far my broad plans for them are: Year 9: Introduction to Shakespeare (using an episode of Doctor Who and Macbeth, being a class of all but 3 girls), Year 10: Sports as a genre of film and books, starting with Friday Night Lights and touching on rite of passage and creative writing, Year 11: Comic books and superheroes, exploring the moral identities and representations in the genre.

Any advice is well welcome, as well as any thoughts on my holiday reading! Teachers out there,  what text types would you use with classes that are 95% male? My previous experience has been exclusively girls, so I have been struggling a little with what to engage the boys with. Hope you had a great weekend!

 

Love,
Andrea

 

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