I have been working hard, as I do every year, to encourage my students to challenge themselves as they choose books to read. "Try something different," and "Haven't you read that already?" are comments I hear myself say frequently as my kiddos browse.
Over the weekend I found myself trapped at the hospital waiting for a family member to respond to treatment. I was stressed out! I pulled out my handy ipad and made a quick purchase from Amazon, not one of those many professional books on my list, not one of those front runners for &YA awards, not even a thoughtful (read as challenging) adult novel, but a trashy pulp fiction novel with no redeeming qualities besides the fact that it was pure entertainment and escape.
Now I am reflecting on this choice, and wondering if I do a disservice to my students when I do not encourage truly "free choice". Shouldn't they be able to make the choice to read what they want for whatever reason they have to read? Which is my higher calling, raising those reading test scores, or raising individuals who will read for the rest of their lives?
Does anyone else wrestle with this issue?