Among the many reflections from the past year that I’ve made this summer, two stand out as ones I can work on both now and in the future. First, I need to slow down and enjoy (fill in the blank of whatever it might be). Also, it’s high time to catch up on the vast world of children’s literature that I have neglected since moving from the classroom to an office. Sadly, I haven’t read a Newbery Medal winner since the 2005 winner Kira-Kira, though I have read nearly all books on the list published between 1930 and 2005.

You’ve read it here: I am making a vow today to slow down read more children’s and young adult literature. And if I write it, I must stick to it, right?

What better way to connect with both my own children and the students of Mount Vernon than to talk books, faraway lands, and exceptional characters? I get so excited about my next adult educational reads that I forget that nearly every other book I read should be a children’s book if I am going to stay current with my knowledge of literature in the Kindergarten to grade 4 age range. It would be great to be able to suggest some new titles to students based on their interests and what they are learning in class.

While I read with my own children daily, I’d like to further expand my repertoire from The Little Mermaid Step 1 Reader and the ever-educational Magic Kitty series to books of substance that I would be proud to list in our school’s resources. I miss the fun of giving book talks to my students and watching them argue over who will borrow it from me first. Nothing was more exciting in my classroom than when the Scholastic box arrived each month with our new titles (except for the heated monthly Boggle competitions, which may someday be the subject of another post).

Tomorrow afternoon you will find me in a hammock in the backyard reading Moon over Manifest, the first title I could find that wasn’t already checked out in the Overdrive App from my local digital library. I may still sneak in a chapter or two of Don’t Forget to Write for the Elementary Grades (I mean, how can I not get excited about the lesson on fort building in the classroom as students write a story that begins in their fort and ends in the North Pole?), but I am going to stick with this. Maybe if I make a resolution about as far away from January 1st as I can get, I might just stick with it. In fact, as outlined in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve them than people who do not explicitly make resolutions (12-13-2012). I can do this.

In fact, maybe I should go ahead and throw in the ol’ “exercising more” resolution while I’m at it.