Do you teach the subject you always dreamed of teaching? If you do, I am so happy for you! If you don’t, I understand how painful this can be. It can be frustrating to see the teacher who teaches the subject or grade you want every day. Or, it can be overwhelming to teach a subject you do not feel totally confident about. However, we have to remain positive when this happens and keep our focus on students. They deserve to have happy teachers who love to get to know them and plan amazing lessons. So, let’s dive into becoming the best reading teacher whether you love or hate the subject!
#1: Fake It Until You Make It
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before! However, it is relevant to so many situations! Even if you hate your current placement, you can still focus on becoming the best reading teacher. Now, are you wondering how you do this? I have a simple yet profound answer. You show enthusiasm every single day! Yes, your enthusiasm HAS to be there! You can’t be crazy about math or science, and your spirit suddenly disappears when it is time to teach reading. Your persona, vibe, and passion will show to your students. They will pick up on how you are feeling! So, if you are bored or upset, they will feel the same. You must be enthusiastic and excited to draw students into lessons. Ultimately, your mindset and tone have a massive impact on students.
If you are feeling discouraged because you’ve already started the year and students are noticing a negative vibe, it’s okay! Make the needed changes, and students will notice and do the same. Honestly, this happened to me when I taught writing. It was amazing to see how students became stronger and happier writers when their teacher showed excitement about the subject.
#2: Make It Fun!
No one looks forward to being bored for 8 hours. So, when focusing on becoming the best reading teacher, make lessons fun! If you’re having fun, your students will have fun. Yes, this even includes your most reluctant learners or ones who do not want to smile. How do you do this? Break out of the boring worksheet and basal reader and get kids’ hands into the material. They are the ones learning and should be using resources! Put those school supplies to use and allow students to use color coding, scissors, and glue. They can sort different content, complete group work, and work on projects! Honestly, they will love reading lessons when they become hands-on. You will also love seeing a class full of students who are eager and excited to learn!
Are you struggling with becoming the best reading teacher because you’re unsure how to make reading fun? I understand that! Thankfully, there are so many incredible resources out there to help. For instance, these Building Comprehension Units include educational activities students will love! They will work on making connections, analyzing sources, comparing and contrasting, and fact and opinion among many other skills!
#3: Honest Insight for a Reading Teacher
It is helpful to figure out why you hate teaching reading when working on becoming the best reading teacher. For instance, is it a lack of confidence? Or, is it you don’t understand the standards? Do you not understand the phonics portion or the vocabulary portion? What is it about reading that you dislike? Maybe it is something you went through in reading class as a student. I promise that once you pinpoint the issue, you can make a plan to do something about it! Planning and teaching reading will become exciting as your mindset changes about the subject!
If you dislike teaching reading because students seem bored, think about why this is. Honestly, students do not just dislike reading. Something happened to cause this. Maybe you even use some of these techniques that actually Kill the Love of Reading. With honest insight, you can make the needed changes to ensure you and your student see how fantastic reading is!
#4: Keep Learning!
Teachers are just as much students as they are teachers. They are always learning new teaching strategies, tools, and techniques. This is essential as students and their needs change each year. When students need extra help, teachers can pull various resources out of their toolboxes. Honestly, this could very well be the case for you if you hate teaching reading. In other words, if you do not love to teach reading, there is something ‘not right.’ Maybe it is due to a confusion level about certain material. Or, it could be a struggle to make the learning relatable. Whatever it is, the best thing you can do for yourself and your students is to continue learning. Find some free webinars online to register for or attend some paid workshops or conferences. It’s our job to be confident in what we teach. We can’t settle if we are not. We must work through our obstacles to provide the best education for students.
#5: Observe Another Reading Teacher
Teachers understand how demanding the profession is. So, many are more than willing to open their doors and help other teachers. Do you know someone who loves to teach reading? Or, have you heard about a great reading teacher in your building or a district close to you? Maybe they can help spark some inspiration in you! If you can, take some time during your prep period to go and observe a few reading teachers. Or, talk to your administrator about your feelings and get a sub to go and observe. This is an incredible way to help get some new ideas flowing and give you some motivation to make becoming the best reading teacher a reality. While teachers never like to be away from their classroom, your students will only benefit when their teacher finds ways to make the subject enjoyable.
#6: Read to Your Students
Every. Single. Day! Students love to be read to no matter their age. So, this is essential to do even if a love of reading or teaching reading isn’t in your blood. We cannot let the students suffer because we don’t like something. Even if you have a lower confidence level in your instruction, make it a priority to read to your class daily. At the very least – this is one of the BEST things you can do for your students to ensure THEY fall in love with reading. Hopefully, it will also help you fall more in love!
After reading these tips, you may be overwhelmed about becoming the best reading teacher. Honestly, that means you care and want to be the best teacher for your students. They will appreciate that you are taking the time to explore why you dislike reading and how to find enjoyment. Since this won’t happen overnight, check out the Adventures of Teaching Facebook Support Group! This group offers amazing collaboration among teachers to share tips, tricks, and strategies to make learning fun!