Independent Reading Journal – The Devil You Know – February 6, 2022

Independent Reading is reading that we do independently of what is required for work or school.

Reading should be encouraged at any age because it cultivates a positive relationship with reading and builds on one’s comprehension and fluency skills.

This blog post documents my own independent reading and serves as a mentor text to my students as we build our independent reading habits.

Title: The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto

Author: Charles M. Blow

Genres: Politics, History, Social Justice

Current Page Number: 96

Last week, I attended the second webinar of the Michigan Department of Education’s series titled “The Role of Diversity within the Literature That We Teach.” Current Michigan Superintendent, Dr. Michael Rice, kicked off the event and said something that stuck with me:

“You have to read it to lead it.”

I was unable to attend the first webinar, so I’m unsure if this is a repeated phrase in the series. Regardless, I think it is important for educators and administrators to keep in mind when it comes to new initiatives within education.

In order for a new program, textbook, novel, etc. to work and be successfully implemented, one needs to read and study it to understand what it is all about. Otherwise we’re just going through the motions … and the students know it.

The only pitfall to this approach is a lack of time that the current state of education knows about, but fails to acknowledge. Educators know just how difficult it is to balance new elements of the job while keeping everything up-to-date in the classroom with the responsibilities in the building we work in AND other elements of our lives.

I am making a conscious effort to dedicate more time to reading about diverse experiences, which is why I am reading The Devil You Know by Charles Blow this week. I am enjoying Blow’s writing style. The a book reads fast. I am stopping frequently to reflecting on his points and perspective. Manifestos are not usually books I gravitate towards, but this one is changing my mind about the genre.

With reading The Devil You Know, I hope the gain understanding and information from Charles M. Blow that I can incorporate into my life and as a teacher working with diverse texts and students. Perspective goes a long way, and I believe, listening to others and reading about experiences is extremely important in order to move forward and lead.

Side Note: I received this book as an Olive Influencer for Harper Perennial.

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