I blew it! What was I thinking?
Twitter Chats are easy. A few questions. A few responses. Let’s talk. And then taking my turn on writing a summative blog post. Predictable patterns.
Book clubs . . . What’s the format? What’s the end goal? What’s my role? More questions than answers. And each club . . . renegotiating the roles and the expectations.
Check. Deadlines met.
Check. Responses entered.
Check. Make no waves. Agree with the participants
Check. Check. Check.
I was focused on the product and got lost in FEAR!
I was worried if it was good enough and was frozen in time!
I rushed to task completing and forgot it was about the thinking!
This was the format for my early book club participation and it has followed me around worse than the groundhog’s shadow ever since. Book clubs were a place of similar thinking; thinking outside the box resulted in social ostracism.
I went underground as a reader as I have had a LOVE/HATE relationship with book clubs. Some have been fun. Some have been tedious. All have provided learning. But what was that learning?
I love talking about books. Mary Howard and I talk about a tweet, a blog post, or a book on a regular basis. Her reading is also voracious! At CCIRA, Regie Routman handed me a book, I thumbed through it, and I had to order it. Penny Kittle told me about a book and I forwarded the title also to my sister and a niece. I hadn’t even left Maria Walther’s session and I was forwarding the book list. Reading and talking about books is fun!
And then last night I watched this video of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. You can watch it too if you are a member of the Summer Book Love Club 2019. What do you notice? What would you name as the key points of the video?
And because the link does NOT work if you are NOT a member, here are the TOP 10 REASONS you should join Summer Book Love 19 from the Nerdy Book Club here.
Here’s what Penny said about the FB Live session:
“From Concord, CA… I’m here with Kelly Gallagher, my co-author and friend, to talk about the importance of book clubs in his professional life.”
The importance of book clubs in his professional life.
The sheer joy.
The number of books he has read as a part of a book club.
The fact that he, a good reader, learns something from every book club meeting and that they celebrate the different ideas everyone brings to the book club.
I lost the sheer joy of talking about books in a book club.
The book club became about the process of my notes, my annotations or my writing about reading.
The book club became more about compliance than learning!
I became that “kid” who completed the work but
maybe didn’t invest very much of myself.
It’s book club season. I will be in several this summer. I will be watching my own learning. And just as I detailed the process for “Professional Learning” in the last 5 posts about Repeated Reading, so will I also monitor my own learning, processes and products. I think it will be critical to be brutally honest with myself.
And I can do that personally with a process that is also set up for bigger systems work.
How will I find the gold and the JOY in book clubs?
What is the process for professional learning?
- Set a Goal – Participate productively in book clubs
- Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research – Talk about the books
- Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning – Check the schedule and allow plenty of time. Refusing to allow lack of time to be an excuse.
- Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in. What do teachers need to learn? How will they learn it? How can we set some measurable targets? – Pay attention to my “joy” meter. When does it stop being fun?
- Collaboration / Implementation Reading and Participating
- Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students – Consider my responses to students with actions similar to mine
- Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data: Has there been growth? How do we know? Plan ahead – what will I do
ifwhen I get stuck?
- Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing more capable? Are students more independent? Balancing “habits” of reading, attitudes, processes and products
- (WHY would I use a different process?)
I will be a part of at least three book clubs this summer and as the summer wanes, I will let you know if I was successful and how and when I will be celebrating the continuous JOY in reading and talking about books!
What is your experience with book clubs?
What motivates you to continue to learn and grow as a reader?
What learning targets would you consider?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.