Reading Personal by Joel Wagner - May 29, 2007July 5, 20100 I moved to my new office today and brought a few books. The other band director I’ll be working with said, “Wow, you sure have a lot of books.” I told him that I read quite a bit. He said that he doesn’t read, and we just kind of laughed about it. But then I got to thinking… I am consistently amazed at how many intelligent people just simply do not find time to read. I am not the most prolific reader around or anything, but I do find time every few days or so to read a chapter or so out of a book. Reading is one of the most valuable skills that we have. Sure people can read even if they don’t make a conscious effort to seek out literature of some sort, but they often limit their vocabulary in the process. As Atwood Townsend wrote: No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. What a shame that so many people find other uses for their time. I understand, because I used to do that. I don’t believe that I ever fully read any assigned reading from the time I finished 7th grade until I graduated from college. But I can honestly say that since I began sincerely reading last summer, I have done more for the quality of my life than I had in the previous ten years. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.