From the Office of the Future of Reading

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Shannon Clark:

  • Wife to 1 husband
  • Mother of 3 children
  • Owner of 7 dogs, many horses, cows, and donkeys
  • 6th grade teacher, B.A. in criminal justice, Master’s in childhood education, ED.S. in elementary education, ponders quite often about becoming a NBCT
  • Alabama country girl who loves to drive a tractor
  • Lover of running, reading, teaching
  • Shannon blogs here

Shannon Clark

Passionate About Reading

Passion can be love or hate because it’s any powerful feeling you have about something. The dictionary defines it as:


any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

Most of us are passionate about something: God, family, animals, eating, exercising, sports, television, reading, shopping….

One of my passions is reading. It always has been. Sure I’ve had lulls in my reading life, especially during my teen years, but it’s always resurfaced. Passion doesn’t die; in some cases, it just becomes dormant until a spark reignites it.

I became a reader at the ripe age of FOUR. See, on Sunday afternoons after church a quiet peace would settle in our house as everyone read something. A book. A newspaper. Whatever. Since I couldn’t read, I’ve been told that I would whine, fuss, complain, and cry that IT JUST WASN’T FAIR. WHY DOES EVERYONE ELSE GET TO READ AND I CAN’T???????? These little tantrums worked. I was enrolled by my mom, an avid reader, in kindergarten a whole year early. Insert smile and happy dance here!!!

So for 2 years, I attended kindergarten and learned to read. Dick and Jane were 2 of my closest childhood friends. And I’ve had many, many, many book friends since then.

As a teacher of readers, I want my students to see me as a reader. I want them to see my passion for reading. So what do I do to make my passion for reading visible? I talk the talk and walk the walk. At the beginning of the year, I challenge all of them to read more books than me for the school year. I like to throw that in there! The first few days of reading workshop I read while they read. I bring my current book to school. I talk about my love of books. I talk about the books I’ve loved. I talk about my relationship with my book characters. During our daily read aloud, I let them see my connection to these characters in the way I read, the way I laugh, and sometimes the way I cry. I ask them what they are reading. I ask them how they like what they are reading. I ask them about their reading.

This year I even tried something new- My Book Door. 
How much more visible could I get?

My students can see at a glance WHAT I’ve read and HOW MUCH I’ve read. And how much more I’ve read than them. Wink-wink!

I only hope that this passion I have for reading has some kind of influence on the readers in my classroom: the avid readers, the reluctant readers, the non-readers. If my reading passion touches them in any positive way, then I will feel successful as a teacher of these very young and oh, so impressionable readers.


Thank you Shannon for your passion for reading and for spreading it around! And in answer to your question, I am reading the latest installment in Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series, Princess Label Maker to the Rescue!