I decided to make this blog to share teaching ideas about the books I read, especially picture books and CPD books.
I’m also trying to learn to draw and paint so I’m using books I read as doodling and drawing inspiration. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m any good but I’m enjoying learning so please bear with me 🙂
I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember, and I’m really lucky that my parents taught me to read before I started school. Hours and hours of my childhood was spent reading and a children’s author was the first thing I ever wanted to be. My love of reading was a big motivation for me wanting to become a primary school teacher. It’s a cliche, but I’m pretty sure reading so much is what turned me (a decidedly average student) into a student who could get good grades in secondary school and university. As a child from a working-class background in an a rural area, that opened a lot of doors for me, and I’m really passionate about making sure all children have this opportunity.
I also love writing and blogging, but I’ve never really felt comfortable “reviewing” books. For one thing, I don’t feel qualified to “judge” other people’s work. If I’m not enjoying a book I’ve never felt it wasn’t a “good” book, just not my cup of tea. Also, I just stop reading books I don’t like, so pretty much every “review” would be 4 or 5 stars. However, since becoming a teacher I’ve run out of the free time I used to have (/forgotten what it is) and find myself reading less and less when I really wish I was reading more. I increasingly appreciate recommendations of inspiring or interesting books to read, and quick ideas about how they might be useful in class. So rather than reviewing books, I want to make a blog where I share books I’ve read that I think would be useful for teachers, parents or anyone interested in children’s literature.
I’ve found books can be a brilliant and engaging way to broach difficult issues, promote discussion and help cover parts of the curriculum that sadly get de-prioritised in our assessment culture. I can frequently be found in charity shops buying books for my class with a worrying lack of restraint, or perusing the internet for books linked to a particular issue that’s come up in class.
I’m also really passionate about using reading for Continuous Professional Development, and promoting empathy, equity and criticality through reading. Books that may not seem directly linked to teacher’s CPD, such as “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”, by Reni Eddo-Lodge have been really important in helping me to understand privilege and inequality that I wasn’t aware of before, and I hope this will help to make me a better teacher. I feel really fortunate that part of my teacher training included encouraging us to seek out books from different cultures and books representing people from diverse backgrounds.
Anyhow, thank you for reading my little blog. I hope it’s useful and any recommendations are greatly appreciated!