Teacher Tuesday

Thanks to Alex Valencic for being my guest today. Alex is a self-described professional educator and literature enthusiast who shares his passion for books with 4th graders in Urbana, Illinois.

Alex, please fill in the blank:
You should never read and (blank) at the same time.

You should never read and sleep at the same time. You end up waking up trying to figure out why you have turned 20 pages in your book but don’t remember anything from them!

If you were invited to be on Oprah, what book would you bring for her to read?

If I were invited to be on Oprah, I would bring her Kathryn Otoshi’s series of books with numbers as the titles. (Currently Zero, One, and Two. They are simple picture books but they teach important life lessons about standing up for what’s right, including others, and making sure everyone knows they are important!

What is the funniest book you’ve read?

I have read far too many books to pick one as the funniest, but one of the funniest books I have read recently is definitely Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. I read it to my five-year-old cousin over the summer and she and I were giggling uncontrollably the whole time!

What is the saddest?

I somehow manage to read a lot of sad books, or, at least, books with sad parts. (I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was just straight-up sad.) However, I have to admit that I felt like a horrible monster when I read the saddest part of Hattie Big Sky to my fourth graders (nope, not gonna give any spoilers) right before a long weekend! I had several of my students in tears and several more who yelled at me for leaving at that point!  

Favorite reading snack/beverage?

I admit: in addition to being a bibliophile, I am an chocoholic. Give me a bag of chocolate and a book and I’ll be happy as a clam! Oh, and I won’t complain if you hand me a bottle of Dr. Pepper, Cherry Coke, or any type of ginger ale.

What’s next on your TBR list?

I have several lists, actually. Um, I guess I’ll keep my responses limited to my children’s book list. Next up is The Walls of Cartagena by Illinois author Julia Durango, who I met at a children’s writing conference last May. I’m planning on using it during my unit on European exploration and colonization of the Americas. (Don’t worry, Kirby; Duke and Dash are both in the pile!)

Thanks, Alex! I won’t worry. 

Teachers, librarians, reading coaches, principals, custodians, lunch ladies, anyone with school connections: Please play along! Email me here and I’ll get you the questions so you, too, can be featured on Teacher Tuesday. 

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  1. Rosi

    What a brave man! I think fourth graders are pretty daunting, but it sounds like Alex knows how to keep them engaged. More books for my TBR list. Thanks for the suggestions and the interesting post.