There is nothing I know to be more true than the adage that life is a journey. In my journey, there have been times where I feel out of sync, like the things I am filling my time with are off kilter with my inner beliefs. And there are times that I feel completely in sync, where everything I know to be true and believe in with conviction inside is a match for my day to day efforts.
Somehow the stars aligned for me this school year, and I am feeling like everything I know to be true about education, and everything we are focusing on in our school are 100% aligned. I feel completely in sync. Everything came together for me early this summer at the intersection of a PD session on Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study, and my reading of the Book Whisperer by @donalynbooks. The idea that my reading life as an educator is key to student's reading life, paired with the opportunity to launch Lucy's RUOS K-5 this year with an emphasis on volume and choice in student reading is magical!
As I reflected on my own reading life as an elementary principal, I realized that while I read everyday, most of it is professional books, not books I can talk about with children. I decided (with unease) that when it comes to children's books, I have become what @donalynbooks calls a 'dormant reader'. Just realizing that stirred me with excitement to awaken my inner reader and be a principal who is a model of literacy for our kids.
I set a personal goal to read 100 children's books this school year, so I can talk to the kids in my school about books as a literacy model and partner. I am so excited for this work!
With this week being the first week of school, I read my first book, El Deafo, a graphic novel memoir about the personal struggles of growing up with differences (as we all do) and the realization that our differences are our super powers. At the suggestion of one of my teachers, I announced that I had read this book on the school speaker system and kids came from everywhere to talk to me about the book. One student even dressed up as the main character yesterday for our school spirit day 'Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character'.
This is just the beginning. I am excited for the learning journey ahead. Follow my reading life at jenniferdinielli.com/blog and share yours too. I'd love to hear from other elementary principals and teachers!