My Reading Journey: I’m Going Places by Jennifer Sniadecki
There are considerable and significant journeys readers take as they travel through life. Readers of fiction travel far and wide – places like the beach, the city, Narnia, Panem, and Oz. Readers who navigate towards nonfiction swim with sharks, design skyscrapers, and fly to the Rose Bowl in the Goodyear Blimp. Writer Rachel Anders said, “The journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page.”
I’d like to propose that reading takes people on other kinds of journeys, too. Real, personal journeys. I’m talking about the kind of travel where one packs a backpack or a suitcase and gets in the car or on a plane and heads away from home. There are many places READING has taken me:
To the library – When I was young the library bookmobile was one of my favorite places. My mom drove me, and I loved it. Each week I’d carry my armful of books to trade and continue my reading path. Sometimes Mom would play audio cassettes in the car, so my sister and I could listen and turn the pages when we heard that bell. Cinderella and Snow White finally wore out after we listened too many times.
To school – Reading was always my favorite subject in school, and still is. My history class in high school was one of the highlights because I saw the stories that people lived and experienced their lives through the words on the pages of the historical books. Because I was a reader, I went to college to continue my adventures. I read to study and learn, to relax and renew. Then I became a teacher, traveling to school each day to share my reading life with others.
To New York City – Learning how to teach reading better was (and is) a goal that I still strive to achieve. I’m sure that I would have never traveled to New York if my cousin hadn’t invited me to join her at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project for a summer institute. Before the opening keynote session, I met reading expert/speaker/consultant/teacher-hero Kylene Beers, and that’s when my real traveling began! My passion for reading and sharing learning skyrocketed, and I unabashedly followed Kylene and other amazing authors and speakers around the country for workshops and conferences focusing on reading and teaching.
To Minneapolis, Chicago, Orlando, Dallas/Ft. Worth, back to Chicago (Lisle), Nashville, back to Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Warsaw… I traveled (and continue to travel) to fulfill my dream of sharing what I learn with others. The National Council of Teachers of English, International Literacy Association, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development were all vehicles on my paths to real reading adventures.
Parma, Michigan – My recent trip to nErDcampMI (Nerd Camp) was certainly where I felt most like the reader I have become. I sat at dinner with authors, illustrators, and other reading “nerds,” and I fit in. I sat in a gymnasium with more than a thousand other reading travelers (from 32 states, and Canada!) and listened to keynote speakers inspire me. I went to break-out sessions that taught me even more about how I can continue with my odyssey on this winding, weaving, wonderful reading road that I am on. READING has led me many places – some fictional, some realistic, some real. I’m so grateful that I get to keep turning the pages.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Jennifer Sniadecki is currently a sixth grade teacher and former literacy coach in South Bend, Indiana. She is an avid reader, and will read anything the Nerdy Book Club or her friends at Two Writing Teachers recommend. In June, she received her certification as a School Librarian and is excited to serve a whole school of readers someday. Jennifer can be found on Twitter, and contributes to #g2great chats for fun. Check out her posts at @jdsniadecki or on her blog, http://www.readingteacherwrites.com.