That is the one of the many pieces of advice I give to my younger self. I hear my students say it all the time;“ Reading is boring.”, “ I don’t like to read.” “ Reading’s not cool”. Obviously, these are age old excuses. I know because I said the exact same things. I grew up in a very active home; 5 older siblings and a handful of nieces and nephews. There were very few rooms where you could lock the door and quietly read or do homework. Also, school was not a big priority in my home. My mom was happy if I passed my classes and showed respect to teachers. At school, you want to socialize, make friends and flirt with cute boys. Again, no time to read. Some novels we read in school were good, others were boring. I was not one to think outside the box and bike to the library . I never saw my friends read. But then I learned later,they were not friends. Hard lesson. When I went out in the world, I felt very behind in life. It didn’t take me long to notice my limited vocabulary and my self- confidence seriously waned. In time I would meet people I would admire for being “all-around “successful ; well spoken, quick witted, and likable. Of course no one will tell you their secrets to success, so you have to watch their actions and keep you ears open. I would hear them talk about the latest book they read and movies they watched. I met my now husband right after I graduated from high school. Tony and his friends in high school were your classic brainiacs and avid readers. They helped me think outside that box. Tony would give me books I read in school and showed me how you can find the time to read on your own instead of assigned chapters in class. Also take advantage of other books by that author. Create a reading habit. You can never get in trouble for reading too much. The more I read, the more I discovered characters that had similar traits to me and involved in similar incidents and scenarios . My confidence began to strengthen knowing I was not alone. From reading, I learned on my own how to handle many situations in a mature, professional manner. With my new love for reading, Tony and I instilled reading and education into our 2 children. As a teacher, I am showing my students the error of my ways.

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