She just mentioned a conversation that I wanted to get down before I forgot it.
Donalyn was asked about her students’ reading. “Your students,” the inquirer asked, “read fifty books a year without any rewards or incentives?”
Donalyn replied, “Isn’t reading its own reward?”
Yes. It is. The reading of the book, the mastering of the text, the enjoyment of the story.
That’s the reward. That’s the prize. That’s the incentive. That’s what gets folks to put down one book, and pick up the next one.
We don’t need stickers, or points, or prizes. Just good books, thoughtful people who know their students to read and recommend to them, and students willing to explore the world through writing.
So let’s spend less time with systems that add to the mess, and distract from the books. Okay?