Books alone are not enough! Teachers Need Reading Champions!

Books change lives

I have always heard that books change lives….. I think that is true. But I believe that is half the story. I think for me….people who love books change lives… is even more accurate! I love to read and my love of reading has always been encouraged by the important people in my life. Would I love to read as much without reading mentors? I have been extremely blessed to not only have reading mentors in my childhood but also in my adulthood.

The Book Whisperer1975269_10202483612984338_1539668900_nDonalyn Miller is my reading champion.

Jennifer LaGarde wrote this wonderful blog post about students needing a reading champion. I completely agree with her post. But it got me thinking about how adults need reading champions too. In fact, I strongly believe that the reading champions in my adulthood have changed my life! I know as an adult my thinking was changed by the book titled The Book Whisperer. But my life was changed when I was able to hear the author Donalyn Miller speak at a conference. Her book changed my thoughts about teaching reading and reignited my passion for reading. But meeting her is what changed my life!


How did Donalyn change my life? Donalyn encouraged everyone at the conference to get on Twitter to network with other amazing teachers, librarians and authors. Honestly, I really had no urge to get on Twitter before Donalyn mentioned it. I thought of Twitter as a social media platform for celebrities to talk about themselves and I really didn’t care to hear about what Ashton Kutcher had for dinner. But I got on Twitter and my educational world exploded for the better. I soon found my tribe thanks to Donalyn! My tribe is The Nerdy Book Club: a group of people that are just as geeked out about books as I am! I tweeted with passionate educators, librarians and authors from all over the country and even the world. My passion and love for reading grew and I was excited to share my love for reading with my students. I now have a community of reading champions to lean on for encouragement and support as an educator, librarian and friend. Can you imagine if every teacher had a community of reading champions to lean on?

nerd friends pic

My Voxer pals at Nerd Camp!

I truly believe that the reason I am an elementary teacher librarian today is not because of a book but because of the people in my adult life that love books! So a huge thank you to my reading champions: Donalyn Miller, John Schu, Travis Jonker, Margie Myers and Colby Sharp. And of course all my amazing Nerdy Book Club pals on Voxer, Twitter and Facebook. You are the reason I wanted so desperately to become a teacher librarian! I hope with all my heart that I inspire students and other educators to love reading as much as you have inspired me the last four years.

book nerd friends

My book nerd pals!

So my mission my first year as an elementary librarian is to change lives by being a reading champion. It is a very big goal!  But I know I will continue to learn from my reading friends and mentors. I plan on blogging about my teacher librarian adventures here. So Happy Reading and here’s to a NEW and exciting school year!

Reading Champion


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3 Responses to Books alone are not enough! Teachers Need Reading Champions!

  1. Allison Jackson says:

    Reading champion- takes one to know one, Niki! In a lot of ways, you were my Donalyn. So encouraging to me on Twitter. You brought me into the tribe. Thank you!
    Best wishes on your newest adventure!

  2. HOORAY! Wishing you a fantastic year, will look forward to what you share… 🙂

  3. kkittscher says:

    Hear, hear! (I think you may have already reached that goal before even having started your new adventure. Wishing you so much luck and happiness!)

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