I love to read. I always have. I cannot remember a time as a child when I didn’t have a book with me. My parents read all the time and it was just a way of life in our home. As an adult, I still love to read. Granted, the things I read have changed. I read more articles and blog posts than I do books, but I am still always reading.

When I had my children, I read to them constantly. If I remember correctly, I read to my oldest child until he was in middle school. I love children’s literature and I was thankful for the “excuse” to read and re-read some great books. As a sixth grade teacher, I read on occasion to my students. I didn’t fit it into our day as much as I would have liked, but I tried to read to them periodically. Currently, I am in my second year teaching 8th grade and until a week ago, I had never read to my 8th graders. I guess I thought they wouldn’t enjoy being read to. Boy, was I wrong.

Last week we had benchmark testing which caused our schedule to be altered slightly. My class time was cut short. Since we were at the end of a unit on Pythagorean Theorem I figured I would use the abbreviated class period, to read the book “What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?” to my students. I could not have predicted their reaction. When I told them I was going to read a story to them, they were so excited. They asked if they could come to the front of the room and sit on the (uncarpeted) floor. They gathered around and sat silently as I read. It was the most still and attentive they had been in weeks, maybe all year! I was shocked!

This experience reminded me of the importance of reading to our students. Apparently, even 8th graders appreciate having someone read to them. I’ve had my students read articles and short stories that go along with math activities. But to actually read TO them is something I just have not done. It doesn’t matter that I am a math teacher. I need to make time to do this because it is important to them. And because it’s important to them, it’s important to me!