Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Finding Time to Read

It can be so difficult for a teacher. Many, if not most, minutes of the day are devoted to school in some shape or form. Either planning or grading papers, posting grades or making copies. When I finally fall into bed for my five to six hours of sleep, I am so tired that I can barely make it through a few pages of even the most intriguing of books. A book is poised in my hands, often for thirty minutes, after I fall asleep reading.

Sometimes my bedtime books are dictated by my classes. Either I need to read an upcoming book, or I read a book associated topically with one of my classes. Other times, I just need an alternative, like a political thriller or a warm-and-cozy series (romance, no, thank you) such as Gervase Phinn or Jack Sheffield writes about his life as a teacher in England.

During the march of school days when I finish a bedtime time book, sometimes it is hard for me to decide what to read next. Often I'll dawdle around a few days trying to decide. With all the unread books I have, you'd wonder what my problem is! A thought dawned on my today (which spurred my culling activity posted below) that maybe I needed to go back to "The List." The old adage I seem to quote so often, "Aim at nothing, and you'll hit it every time," suddenly became very real.

As a list-maker, I used to make a yearly list of what I was going to read throughout the year. I cataloged my choices into categories to have a well-rounded list. And I succeeded at reading most of the books on the list. Things, changed though, when I started teaching in a traditional classroom, and though I've tried to make a yearly list, I never get much read from it but it was not realistic for my life now.

With my routine more down-pat, maybe it is time to revisit making the list again. But only during school months, August through May, leaving school holidays of Christmas and Spring Break open for the gotta-reads.

And with so many books unread, I feel obligated to make the list from them. After all, most of those books arrived on the shelves due to my rabbit trails from another book or a must-read from a school-re
lated topic.

This list will, of necessity, be short. Really. Sometimes, if I am able to read three hundred pages in one month, I doing well. When I think about reading only these meager amounts, I wonder if I would enjoy not working so I could read more. Then I remember why I teach. It is because I love it. So, . . . may I live long enough to read most of my library . . . after I retire.

I am resolved that my list-making will begin soon.



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