I really enjoyed reading Nancy Atwell’s “Learning How to Teach Reading” this week. I enjoyed this because I am interested in learning more about reading workshops. The part which I really enjoyed reading were the last few paragraphs where she talks about teaching literature the “old way” was “lonely.” Basically, the teacher usually just stands in front of the room and lectures. With the lecture, comes the hope that students are actually learning something from you. This description kind of reminds me of the teachers who expect you to know what is going on.
Instead of expecting students to automatically agree with everything you say, I would rather have them voice their opinions on certain topics. This is kind of how I view the reading workshop because students are reading without any pressure. I want them to be able to read, interpret, and analyze what they are reading as they read. I will not always be up there telling them what to do and how to read something. They need to be independent thinkers which I know everyone says but I really do want to try and get my students to that point.
I also liked when Atwell wrote that:
“The rewards in teaching literature with a capital L are huge. Students in the reading workshop are acting both as readers, choosing and responding to literature, as students of literature. As the teacher of the reading workshop, I’m both responding to my students and leading them.”
By becoming an active participator in their own learning, students are more able to make connections that are important to me. I do not want to tell them exactly what they should believe or think. And I do not want to be the lonely teacher in the front of the classroom. I think interacting with my students would make my own teaching experience worthwhile. I would hate to be lonely in a classroom full of students.