I have considered myself to be an author since I independently published the first book in my children’s mystery series, The Maisy Files, in 2013. But, I have been a teacher for thirteen years. During that time, I’ve taught reading and writing skills to students of a variety of ages.
I’m also an avid reader. I simply cannot be without a book. But, I often find myself wearing a variety of hats while reading. I have my regular reader hat, my teacher hat, and my author hat. It’s not uncommon for me to be piled high with imaginary headwear.
There are some books that I am able to get swept away in and simply enjoy as a reader. But, often, inspiration strikes and I have to pause to jot down some notes for a future story. Sometimes, the educator in me jumps up and down and screams something along the lines of, “This would be great for teaching metaphors!” or “This is a great text for introducing plot structure!” I have to pause for her, too. She’s a little bossy.
Though it is a bit tedious to manage my unintentional interrupting of my own reading, I have come to appreciate the different perspectives I have when it comes to reading great literature. I think it helps me to fully immerse myself in a story and identify with the characters. But, I think everyone has different hats to wear while reading. Each of us brings something different to our interpretation of a story based on our experiences. Before I became a teacher and an author, I still appreciated and enjoyed a character-driven story. I still do. But, now I recognize learning opportunities and have a deeper respect for a perfectly constructed conflict.
So, the bossy teacher in me would like to assign you all a task. The next time you find a great book, purposefully pause and consider it with a perspective that is uniquely yours, one that doesn’t often make its way into your reading time. You may find a deeper meaning or even a little levity. Share your thoughts with another person. Find a teachable opportunity and bring out your inner teacher. In other words, identify your own reader hats and wear them proudly.