Happy New Year everyone! What a busy year 2017 was- lots of changes and challenges, but lots to celebrate and enjoy too.
Teaching is the sort of job which is incredibly rewarding, but also exhausting! Saying 'I've finished everything' is never possible; every day is unpredictable and challenging; you laugh a lot; you never stop learning! Each day is crammed full! It's an amazing roller-coaster of a ride.
Being a 'reading' teacher is an essential part of the job and recently there seems to have been a lot of work done to prove what most of us already know: if you read the books your children are reading- and those which they are not-, it enables to you to a) discuss them with them, b) make recommendations to pupils, parents, colleagues, c) choose class texts/ daily reads etc, d) gain a huge amount of personal pleasure, e) create a positive reading culture in your class/ school... the benefits are amazing! But I still hear colleagues claim there is no time to read or that they have no interest in children's books. This is why we started the North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards and this website.
Although there is no substitute for reading a book for yourself, we hope that we can at least point colleagues in the right direction and offer them a starting point and -just maybe- kindle or rekindle a love of reading!
In 2018, we will continue to review as widely as possible. Some books are sent to us for review, many we find for ourselves whilst browsing the many bookshops and libraries we visit. We always welcome suggestions- please contact us via the website if you would like to submit something-, but will only write positive reviews. We have neither the time nor the inclination to criticise others! We will also continue our teachers' reading groups and the awards- possibly with new categories this year!
We are also going to develop our Library/ Book Event ideas packs which will be available on the Members' section of the website. These include lots of ideas for events around books which are easy to organise, but raise the awareness of children - and parents- for books which are probably sitting on class shelves or in libraries. Many of them are tried and tested- and we are always willing to offer advice on how to run them in your school/ library. We are also forging links with local libraries. Book lists and planning (based on our past winners and other books) are also available. We are also planning more competitions across our schools and hopefully more author visits!
Our Brilliant Bookshop posts are also very popular! I am on a mission to visit as many independent bookshops as possible this year so if you know of one I've missed- please let me know!
Great lovers of myths, legends, traditional tales and folklore, we are planning more posts about these this year and how they can be used in school. Wonderful for showing how diverse and yet how similar we all are, there is an incredible wealth of material in this area just waiting to be discovered.
We also plan to continue getting out and about as much as possible to as many book and reading events as we can. Literacy festivals, book launches, events like the wonderful Oxford Reading Spree, FCBG Conference, exhibitions linked to books/ reading. reading locations...
So many ideas (so little time!)- let's see just how much bookish love we can pack into 2018!
"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase
Happy New Year, everyone and thank you for your continuing support.