Principals aren’t as Clueless as You Think

Show me the research...Your principal does care! I know what you’re thinking, but what I am saying is true. Although it may appear that your principal is clueless about the impact of what Donalyn Miller describes as Wild Reading, your principal does. So what’s the problem? Time. Your principal would love to sit and read the research a little bit more, visit a classroom or two after the assessment results are out and understand why this classroom’s scores are higher than others – but there’s little time. But don’t let time get in the way!
We all have a lot on our plate and wish there were another 12 hours added to every day; I know I do (although I often note that I would probably fill those days with lots of stuff and wish for 12 more)! YOU can be a tremendous asset to your principal by bringing the research to the table. Show your principal in black and white what is already known. It doesn’t have to be a full research report, but it can be snippets that help to get the point across. There are several reports and books that you can use to demonstrate the power and value of Wild Reading.
Obtain a copy of Open A World of Possible: Real Stories About the Joy and Power of Reading. Find a touching account in this anthology of stories from more than 100 literacy experts on their personal connection to reading to share with your principal. You can download a copy of the book from Scholastic®. Look for one of your principal’s favorite stars to ensure an immediate connection.
Read Donalyn Miller’s blog, “I've got research, yes I do; I've got research, how about you?” This blog shares a myriad of books, articles and resources that you can use to demonstrate the value of promoting wild reading in the building.
Want the numbers? Want the stats? We’ve got that, too. This full research compendium, The Joy and Power of Reading: A Summary of Research and Expert Opinion, contains lots of data and statements that you can share with your principal. This brief is a part of a larger offering of resources – even videos of children speaking about the impact reading has had – can be found here. I love the information shared in this research because it’s presented in such a practical way. It’s hard to argue with something that you can actually understand.
Although this last resource does not contain statistics, it’s a heart tugging compilation on getting lost in a book. This brief video can be shared with staff at a meeting, or in an email. At the very least – you take a look. You’ll be glad you did.