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Donalyn Miller quotes (showing 1-30 of 67)

“Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters – the saints and the sinners, real or imagined – reading shows you how to be a better human being.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“Books are love letters (or apologies) passed between us, adding a layer of conversation beyond our spoken words.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“I believe that this corporate machinery of scripted programs, comprehension worksheets (reproducibles, handouts, printables, whatever you want to call them), computer-based incentive packages, and test practice curriculum facilitates a solid bottom-line for the companies that sell them, and give schools proof they can point to that they are using every available resource to teach reading, but these efforts are doomed to fail a large number of students because they leave out the most important factor. When you take a forklift and shovel off the programs, underneath it all is a child reading a book.”
Donalyn Miller
“I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go​, don't-look-at-my-Amazon-bill. I choose purses based on whether I can cram a paperback into them, and my books are the first items I pack into a suitcase. I am the person who family and friends call when they need a book recommendation or cannot remember who wrote Heidi. My identity as a person is so entwined with my love of reading and books that I cannot separate the two.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“The purpose of school should not be to prepare students for more school. We should be seeking to have fully engaged students now.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“If you don't read, I don't know how to communicate with you...I can never express who I am in my own words as powerfully as my books can.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“Students will read if we give them the books, the time, and the enthusiastic encouragement to do so. If we make them wait for the one unit a year in which they are allowed to choose their own books and become readers, they may never read at all. To keep our students reading, we have to let them.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“When we meet and I discover that we have read and loved the same books, we are instant friends.”
Donalyn Miller
“I try to teach my students that books are a mirror, reflecting their own lives, and a window, giving them a peek into someone else's.”
Donalyn Miller
“A classroom atmosphere that promotes reading does not come from the furniture and its placement as much as it comes from the teacher's expectation that students will read.”
Donalyn Miller
“This is how I show my students that I love them - by putting books in their hands, by noticing what they are about, and finding books that tell them, "I know. I know. I know how it is. I know who you are, and even though we may never speak of it, read this book, and know that I understand you.”
Donalyn Miller
“I realized that every lesson, conference, response, and assignment I taught must lead students away from me and toward their autonomy as literate people.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“Being a reader is how I choose to spend my life, every aspect of it, inside and outside of the classroom. I often wonder whether my identity as a reader, someone who reads voraciously and always has a book recommendation, is all I have to offer. That may be true, but it is an oversimplification. How can I express the extent to which reading has shaped who I am as a human being?
Although I see myself as kind, I am not a demonstrative person. If I have ever brought you a book unasked for, know that I cared. I said everything to you that I wanted with that book. I have enough wisdom to acknowledge that an author’s words are more eloquent than my own. When we meet and I discover that we have read and loved the same books, we are instant friends. We know a great deal about each other already if we both read. I imagine this is why I strive so hard to get people around me to read. If you don’t read, I don’t know how to communicate with you. I know this is a shortcoming. Perhaps my mother, who worried that reading would make me socially stunted, was half right. I can never express who I really am in my own words as powerfully as my books can.”
Donalyn Miller
“Readers enjoy talking about books almost as much as they like reading.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“If we value all readers, we must value all reading.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“Without any reading time in class, too much homework, and little choice provided in reading material or writing topics, Sarah keeps her reading life alive in spite of school, not because of it. Our children shouldn't have to wait for adulthood to become wild readers. For many, it will be too late.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“Failing to graduate a populace that values reading has long-term consequences for everyone.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go, don't-look-at-my-Amazon-bill reader. I choose purswes based on whether I can cram a paperback into them, and my books are the first items I pack ingo a suitcase.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“If you ever think you have all the answers, it’s time to retire.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“I know from personal experience that readers lead richer lives, more lives, than those who don’t read.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“Exposing students to lots of books and positive reading experiences while building a network of other readers who support each other provides students with tools that last beyond the classroom setting.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“Students will rise to the level of a teacher’s expectations.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“If we really want our students to become wild readers, independent of our support and oversight, sometimes the best thing we can do is get out of the way.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“Providing students with the opportunity to choose their own books to read empowers and encourages them. It strengthens their self-confidence, rewards their interests, and promotes a positive attitude toward reading by valuing the reader and giving him or her a level of control. Readers without power to make their own choices are unmotivated.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“I need to put forward more encouraging terms for my students than the negative popular terminology struggling and reluctant. Where is the hope in these terms? I prefer to use positive language to identify the readers in my classes. Peeking into my classroom, I see sixty different readers with individual reading preferences and abilities, but I consistently recognize three trends: developing readers, dormant readers, and underground readers.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“Without spending increasingly longer periods of time reading, they won’t build endurance as readers, either. Students need time to read and time to be readers.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
“The most effective reading teachers are teachers who read. According to Morrison, Jacobs, and Swinyard (1999), “Perhaps the most influential teacher behavior to influence students' literacy development is personal reading, both in and out of school” (p. 81).”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“Reading shows us how to be better human beings, not just successful worker bees.”
Donalyn Miller
“By believing that only some of our students will ever develop a love of books and reading, we ignore those who do not fall into books and reading on their own. We renege on our responsibility to teach students how to become self-actualized readers. We are selling our students short by believing that reading is a talent and that lifelong reading behaviors cannot be taught.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits
“For me, this is what wild reading is: readers who incorporate reading into their personal identities to the degree that it weaves into their lives along with everything else that interests them. As teachers and parents, we spend a lot of time gnashing our teeth and complaining that kids don't read. Reading is a big deal to us because we know that reading well unlocks academic, professional, and social opportunities, but for readers themselves, reading is just part of who they are.”
Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits

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