The Importance of Reading for Education

A child sitting at a desk reading a book, image used for Robert Peters blog on education

Reading is one of the most basic parts of day-to-day life, from tasks for school to reading street signs to shopping to browsing the internet. No matter what kind of job you have, some kind of reading will be necessary. Countries with higher literacy rates are generally better off and the people are happier. Studies have shown that those who commit crimes are more likely to have a lower literacy rate. People who read for pleasure achieve greater success in life. There are plenty of reasons why reading is vital to education, whether a formal education or a more general one that applies to life. Students should be encouraged to read because it’ll benefit them in endless ways.

Improves all kinds of comprehension

Overall, reading improves a child’s comprehension skills. The more someone reads, the better they get at picking up on context clues and interpreting specific language and actions. These comprehension skills extend into the real world as well, along with other topics. With great comprehension skills comes success in school and life because you’re able to pick up on small cues that help you interpret a situation or event.

Reading is a part of life

Like I mentioned earlier, basically any career path someone pursues involves a certain amount of reading, even if it’s just to read instructions or training materials. In addition to your career, it’s necessary to be able to read when filling out forms, like taxes, a lease, or a contract for any kind of service. Without strong reading skills, you can end up with financial issues or miss an important deadline or opportunity.

Teaches empathy

Reading creates more empathetic individuals, especially readers of fiction. When people read fiction, areas of their brain respond to what characters experience as though they’re experiencing the events themselves. As people become more empathetic, it’s easier for them to relate to other people and connect with them, which leads to more open-minded individuals. Empathy is a trait people could use more of, so for this reason alone, we should encourage children to be reading.

Helps communication

Reading teaches students to communicate better with other people from all backgrounds of life. With significant amounts of reading comes a larger vocabulary and greater understanding of how to connect with other people, because of the example set in novels. Readers learn how to connect with other people and convey their thoughts and emotions.

Expands imagination

People who read a lot are generally more creative and have a stronger imagination. When you read fiction, you have to use your mind to picture what the world and characters look like and to visualize the action. This use of imagination spills over into other areas of your life and makes you a more creative individual with a strong imagination.

Learn something new

Reading is the best way to learn something new. Simply by reading any kind of book, you’re exposing yourself to a new story or theory. In a novel, you may learn more about an event or way of life, even if it’s fictional. However, there are also plenty of nonfiction books for you to read that will teach you about various different subjects or fun facts.

Keep Your Students Learning Over Summer Vacation with These Simple Steps

blue background with cartoon books lined up along the bottom, image used for Robert Peters blog on how to keep your students learning all summer long

With summer vacation coming up, teachers may feel concerned over whether their students will continue learning over the summer or forget everything they’ve learned by the beginning of next year. Students (and teachers alike) are looking forward to their summer vacation. They do not want to go to class anymore or have homework to do every night. They’re looking forward to the warm weather and having more free time. However, it’s also important that students continue learning over the summer. As an educator, this concern likely sits at the front of your mind, so here are some of the best ways you can encourage students to continue learning all summer long.

Create a summer reading list

You’re bound to have some students who love to read; encourage them to continue this hobby over the summer! Provide all of your students with a list of books to read over the summer; make sure to include fun ones that they’ll find interesting. If you have students in class again next year, offer incentives for reading books over the summer and writing a short summary of the book and their response to it. If you don’t have the same students, sometimes just providing them with a list of suggestions is enough to get them engaged.

Encourage writing

If you’ve noticed some of your students enjoy writing creatively, encourage them to keep that up over the summer. Consider providing each student with a notebook to take home for the summer and use to write down thoughts, stories, or events that happen over break. Tell them they should even jot down quotes or ideas they like so they can keep track of them.

Give them a list of summer events

Most school districts have some kind of events over the summer that allow students to keep learning and engage with teachers even when the school year isn’t in session. If your school doesn’t do these kinds of activities, suggest starting them or find nearby schools that do. The local library likely has summer events, so make students aware of those as well.

Introduce them to educational websites

There are lots of fun educational websites students can visit that’ll help them keep learning while letting them play games. Since it’s likely your students will be spending a lot of time online anyway, give them great resources they can use to further their knowledge. Sites like FreeRice.com help students learn and donate to a good cause.

Make sure they have library cards

Depending how old your students are or what district you work in, they may not have library cards. Provide them with the information on how to get a library card and encourage them to go after school one day or during the summer so they have access to books and other learning materials. If your school lets you, plan a trip to the nearest library and have each student sign up for their own card.

Get their parents involved!

As hard as you try to encourage continued learning in your students, your direct influence ends on the last day of class. Consider sending out an email or making phone calls to your students’ parents to let them know the importance of continued learning over the summer. Get a set of papers together with information on why it’s important students keep learning, how parents can help, and various resources to use. Most parents want their students to learn, so if you provide them with the materials, they can definitely help out.

Decker Middle School – 2010-11 TAKS Results

During his tenure as principal of Decker Middle School, Dr. Robert Peters turned the struggling institution into the top-ranked middle school in the entire Manor Independent School District, with substantial improvements to reading and mathematics performance. Owing in part to Dr. Peters’ efforts, Decker was also named a Higher Performing School by the National Center for Educational Achievement in 2011. The following review of Decker’s 2010-11 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) standardized test results were reported via the Texas Education Agency’s Academic Excellence Indicator System:

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