I am a passionate reader and am always looking for ways in which I can encourage my students to develop that same love of books that was gifted to me in my childhood. A colleague mentioned that there was local Teachers as Readers Group (TaR) linked to the Open University that focussed on developing Reading for Pleasure. I decided that this is something I should look into and when I visited the website to find out more I discovered that:
‘The OU and UKLA are supporting over 80 Teachers’ Reading Groups across the UK and beyond in 2018-9. These groups provide a space for teachers, teaching assistants, early years professionals, librarians and others to enrich their understanding of reading for pleasure (RfP) and how to support it.’ https://researchrichpedagogies.org/research/teachers-reading-groups
It sounded absolutely perfect and so I signed up and I have never looked back. My local Teachers as Readers Group (Tar) meets approximately once every half term with the following aims and purposes:
- To help teachers develop their knowledge and understanding of how they can make a positive contribution to developing literate students, classrooms and schools.
- To help teachers understand how they can encourage students to read for pleasure and become lifelong readers through engaging in Research projects focussed in their classroom or school.
- To encourage teachers to read for pleasure.
- Build a professional community with a knowledge bank of tools, strategies and techniques to develop Reading for Pleasure both locally and online.
For me personally I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with my local TaR group and have been able to:
- Develop and explore my own knowledge and understanding of Reading for Pleasure through professional dialogue and discussion with colleagues.
- Develop networks of support and expertise with colleagues through the sharing of projects.
- Develop a wider knowledge and understanding of children’s literature.
- Been able to engage in conversations with students about ‘books in common’.
- Contribute to, and benefit from, the creation of a shared reading history with the group.
- Become a model for developing lifelong reading pleasure.
- Reflect upon and learn from personal experience with books.
- Enhance my teaching and learning strategies through engaging in my own research project in School.
I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone looking to develop their knowledge and understanding of how they can encourage students to Read for Pleasure joins a Teachers as Readers group. When teachers read and enjoy high quality books with confidence, and are able to blether about books with the students, they contribute to developing literate classrooms, schools and students and pass on the gift of reading.
For more information of Teachers as Readers Groups (Tar) and Reading for Pleasure (Rfp) visit: