You might just learn something

selective focus photography of woman holding book

When I was in intermediate school our teacher encouraged us to read more by having us record what we had read on a print-out she had made. Obviously one full page looks better than an all but empty one, so I got a huge shock when one of my fellow classmates came back the next day with his page full asking for another sheet. There’s no way he read that much, I thought, but it turned out he had. This student had recorded each page he read as one entry, so he quickly filled up his sheet.

I can’t blame the student for his brains nor his brazenness. If the task was to fill up the sheet rather than to read, he certainly won that one. But I can’t help but imagine how much harder it was for him once the teacher made her instructions clearer.

In all my university English classes the students have to read one graded reader every two weeks. I don’t specify which books should be read, and the library does have some books that are just pictures. If students really wanted to, they could just use those books, and that has been done before. But if you’re going to do a task like that, if you’re going to spend your valuable time on it, it doesn’t really make sense to not challenge yourself even a little. I get that they just want to get the task over and done with, but they’re going to be doing it either way. Plus, who knows, you might just learn something!

P.S. That class is one of my fondest memories as I came across The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl, one of my favourite books ever.



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