We had the pleasure of speaking with JoEllen McCarthy (@JoEllenMcCarthy) about encouraging a passion for reading on our latest WPED program. Aside from the plethora of information that JoEllen has at her fingertips, she has a magical way of delivering it with enthusiasm and fun! If you haven’t had the opportunity to see her present, do yourself a favor and mark your calendar for any upcoming events. Her website with dates, blog posts, and many links to the resources she shares can be found here:
Check out our latest program where we discuss encouraging a passion for reading for all students. We talk about the importance of a learning community that incorporates teachers, students, and parents. Also discussed is the transition from elementary to middle school and the needs students have as they grow. Resources are shared throughout the discussion – making this a fun-packed, information rich program!
For my first blog post I had written a beautiful paper about the importance and significance of being a passionate learner as a parent…..and then I participated in PTChat. For those of you unfamiliar with PTChat, it’s a weekly online Twitter discussion between teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and students. Topics change each week – If it’s happening in education, it’s being discussed in PTChat. This week the subject was “Encouraging a Love of Reading Beyond Required Texts”. The passion and heart displayed in this discussion went beyond the words; they were felt in each tweet. I realized something very important – to write about something you really care about with all your heart, you have to write from your heart to the hearts of your readers. So, gone are my beautiful charts and research. In their place are my feelings and beliefs on the subject.
All the players in schools today are being pushed and challenged to new levels. Where students were once compared to peers within the state, they are now being compared to peers around the world. This new global approach has taken our educators to a new frontier of learning. Reading, math, science and technology are surpassing the old expectations. Along with these new “rigors” of education, our children are also expected to be passionate about their learning. Lifelong learning is the goal. Preparedness for 21st century higher education and jobs is now the focus. Teachers, staff, and administrators are on the cutting edge of this new style of teaching. They too are expected to be passionate learners. No parent wants a teacher who is “phoning it in”, certainly not now when the stakes are so high.
As parents we need to be in the game too. Our education is not the same as that of our children today. This new curriculum requires stronger critical thinking and research skills than ever. One thing comes to mind as I learn more about the common core standards, parents need to model lifelong learning and passionate learning if we want our children to do the same.
This is what I’ve been doing to be a role model for my children:
- I took them with me to the library to find that book discussed on PTChat that I re-tweeted (as a reminder to myself of the title).
- I registered for a MOOC! I am taking an online class called “Critical Thinking in Global Challenges” through the University of Edinburgh via Coursera.
- I’m almost done reading “The Story of the World – History for the Classical Child, Volume 1”, a book given to my son by his 6th grade social studies teacher when he displayed interest beyond the class requirement. He read it in 2 days, it’s taken me about 3 weeks!
- AND – I have the best new pen pal since participating in PTChat! She inspires me, motivates me, and re-energizes me. Having a partner makes it exciting to challenge myself to learn more and share ideas and thoughts.
How are you challenging yourself to become a passionate learner? The opportunities are boundless. The internet never sleeps. Share your next step here!