Congratulations Pernille Ripp! Read her interview here and find out more about her upcoming book Passionate Readers!
Pernille: "The biggest motivator to write Passionate Readers was to share the advice that my incredible students have for schools and educators to create reading environments that work better for kids. In their ideas and truths, I found a trail to follow as I bolstered my own practices in the attempt to create a community of readers with middle school students, even within the constraints of limited time and a seemingly neverending curriculum. Another motivator was because this topic is what I write about the most on my blog, as well as what I speak about. Many educators are searching for ideas for how they can create more passionate reading communities, and so the book is an easy way for me to share what we have tried, the research it is based on, plus very practical ideas that can be implemented to fit many curriculums or philosophies."
Pernille: "My favorite piece of advice will always be; ask the students what works and does not work for them. We have so many discussions and make so many decisions based on what we think is best for kids, and yet, we don’t consult the very people our discussions and decisions will affect the most. It doesn’t cost any money to ask students how we can be better teachers or how they would like to learn, all it takes is the time to ask, the ears to listen, and the courage to then do something with what they are telling us."
Pernille: "The very first 7th-grader I encountered told me very proudly that he did not like to read at all. I spent a year trying to help him establish a better relationship with reading but felt very much like a failure and that nothing I had done had changed his mind as far as the value of reading. The next year he stopped me in the hallway to give me a book recommendation that our librarian had given him. I was so excited to see him go further on his journey as a reader and also reminded that sometimes we are only there to plant a seed and will never see the end result."
Pernille: "I think my proudest moments will always be when a child tells me that what we are doing is not working for them and we then brainstorm how to make things better. The amount of trust and courage that takes is profound and certainly not something I take for granted. To see these kids, who I, alongside others, tell to speak up and use their voice to change their educational journey actually do so makes me feel incredibly good about our country’s future."