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How My Struggles as a Student Led to Success for My Reluctant Readers

October 1, 2019

By: Meg Hamel

Source: Ed Surge

One of the most impactful activities from my Master’s coursework in secondary English education was a reader biography. As an introduction to our teaching methodology class, our professor asked us to catalog all the books we could remember reading up to the age of 18. We then reflected on which genres appealed to us when we were younger, whether we were reluctant readers (and if so, what filled our spare time), and how the adults in our lives impacted what and when we read.

In some ways, this was a pleasant stroll down memory lane for me, rekindling a passion for pleasure reading and urging me to revisit some long-forgotten favorites. It also forced me to acknowledge a secret I’d been keeping from my book-loving grad school peers—I was a poor reader as a child. I struggled from an early age with comprehension and performed below the average on national reading exams. And despite eventually growing into a bibliophile, this was a difficult truth to reckon with as I prepared to become a high school English teacher. However, this one-time weakness ultimately became an advantage in the classroom.

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