Kaylie answered the following questions about her experiences as a teacher and a reader:
Why do you read?
I think reading is such an important part of anyone’s life. Reading transports you to another world and allows your imagination to take hold, but also gives you knowledge of far away places that you may never visit. I read to keep up on my student’s reading interests, and I try to encourage them to read books that I have found to be worthwhile and amazing. I have noticed in my classroom that there are many kids that struggle finding a book to read, and when I can encourage them with a choice of my own, it establishes a relationship with that student. I read to escape my reality; I need downtime at the end of a busy day and being able to read allows me that refuge. I love to read non-fiction to gain new knowledge of people and places. Reading grows my vocabulary and my writing skills, so it’s so important to my daily life.
What are you currently reading?
I recently finished Escape from Camp 14 by Shin Dong-hyuk. This was an absolutely amazing read that I have now been using in my classroom as a literature circle book. I didn’t know nearly as much as I know now about North Korea and the harsh treatment of their own citizens. It was shocking and horrifying to read this man’s account, but also necessary to gain an understanding of the country and the inhumanity that happens in our world. My male students have found it interesting because of the grotesque details Dong-hyuk uses to tell his story. It was truly fascinating.
How do you encourage your students to read?
I encourage my students to read by talking about books, sharing books I am reading, and literature circles. Kids are pretty good about sharing a book they have read with fellow classmates and then encouraging them to read it. I also bring all my books from home to the school after I have read the book and place them on a bookshelf for the kids to borrow; that is where many will begin good reading discussions with me about books. They like to know what their teacher has read; they also like to know that their teacher does read.
Who encouraged you to be a teacher?
There seemed to be many that encouraged me to be a teacher. I remember when I was young and we would play “school” in our tree house and I was always the teacher. I have wanted to be a teacher forever, and I mean forever. My parents were huge supporters of my professional choice as well as the teachers that I kept in contact with as I went through college. I believe the Lord guided me in this direction of education, and it was meant to be. I enjoy this profession immensely, even with all the ups and downs. :)