Four years ago I moved to Hawaii to start the "Life is Too Short" chapter of my life. It was time to live the dream. And that dream included SUNSHINE, being warm, and reading on the beach at every opportunity.


Maybe it was going to include some subbing or at most a part-time teaching gig. But I wasn’t planning on having a classroom again so I GAVE AWAY EVERYTHING. Every. Thing.


Classroom library? Gone.

Personal library? Gone.

Posters? Gone.

Makerspace stuff? Gone.

Everything was given to teacher friends for their classrooms, libraries, and schools.


We were living very minimally and getting rid of almost everything else so I definitely wasn’t going to pay to ship stuff I wasn‘t planning on using.


Fast-forward four years, and this is how I spent my Friday morning, a week after the school year ended: stacking my classroom into the garage.


Bwahahahahahaha.



It currently includes 11 containers of classroom and Makerspace materials, a bin of board games, a giant box of rolled up and laminated posters, and 22 containers of classroom library books!


So clearly we’ve learned that I can’t stay out of the classroom. And I just finished year #20 in schools and libraries. #bestlaidplans #justcantgetenough


Stay tuned next week as I reflect on year #20... and for next year’s adventures...



#classroom #teacherlife #fridayfunny #reflections #teaching #adventuresinteaching

I’m gearing up for my last round of #yalit seminars this school year. The end of April may possibly find me coming to a city near you.


As as I reflect on the year, I love looking at the feedback I receive from attendees. It is always an honor to spend the day with amazing educators, and I appreciate all the positive notes at the end of the day.


I thought I would pause on Fridays to highlight some of my Favorite (often humorous) Feedback...including this recent one:


I always say that we should just hold these seminars in a Barnes & Noble (or insert local bookstore of your choice). They would make a KILLING that day!

#takemymoney #booknerdproblems



#magicallibrariantour #yalit #feedbackfriday #seminar #bestbooks #teachers #librarians #booknerd


When you hit the high school teaching trifecta and your class of seniors meets:

1) the last period of the school day +

2) the day before what is basically a 5 day weekend for them +

3) on Valentine’s Day =


...yep, definitely time to ditch formal lesson plans and go for Anti-Valentine’s Day activities!


Does it make me a bad person that the homework to prep for Thursday’s class was to “think of a book you didn’t enjoy reading. And bring your snark...”?! 🤣 What can I say, that’s just who we are as a class.


So, the assignment on Valentine’s Day was to “break up with a book you didn’t like.” Text, tweet, Dear John-esque letter, poster, whatever they felt could best convey their (school-appropriate) opinions. One young woman did a FIVE SLIDE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!


Let‘s be honest, we all have books that we didn’t like. Or memories of having to read that one book in high school that just made us miserable every day we had to sit in class and discuss it. For whatever reason, the book(s) just didn’t “click” with us...we weren’t a good match. Giving my students the chance to acknowledge this was actually a positive experience for all involved.


Yes, I did give them some initial guidelines (no, you can’t just say, “you suck”), and I encouraged them to compare it to a book or genre they do like. Here‘s what we learned:


1) it really is okay not to like a book. Even if others in the class, or your friends, or even your teacher liked the book.

2) they really enjoyed talking about the books both good and bad and comparing reading experiences.

3) understanding what they didn’t like has helped them pinpoint what they do like to read...and why.


(In addition to all of these, this teacher learned that all of them took the same World Lit class as Freshmen and had to read Tolstoy. And, not surprisingly, they all say that was the worst book they read that year. Excuse me while I check on the required reading lists for all classes...)


Some examples of their breakups: (I tried my best to protect the title of the book being dumped. Except for Tolstoy).



“...reading you was the visual equivalent of chewing on tin foil...”


”I had such high hopes for you because the first book was amazing...”


”The cliche setup and predictability brought down a fastastic story idea.”


“We need to break up. Your personality is as boring as unseasoned steak.”


”I fell in love with the Matched Trilogy by Ally instead because it was everything I wanted from a series.”


And, because I was inspired by Tracee Orman’s Rejected Candy Hearts assignment (available on TPT), after they were done dumping their book, they could write some (SCHOOL APPROPRIATE!) rejected candy hearts. Some of them are pretty funny.


Do you have any good middle school or high school Valentine’s activities?


Or books that you want to break up with?

#highschool #contemporarylit #yalit #reading #books #valentinesday #activities #letterstoabook #fridayfunny

WHAT YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE SAYING:

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Laurie, Librarian, IL

GREAT SEMINAR! Shauna was fantastic. My booklist is overflowing and I can't wait to share these books with students, and educate my teachers.

Julia, School Librarian, PA

I can't wait to get these books into the hands of my students!

Chad, LA Teacher, IL

Shauna reinforces the idea that there are two types of students: those who like to read and those who haven't found the right book yet. She offers a plethora of resources and titles for both!

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Become a Subscriber!

Learn about the best new books from the comfort of your living room. Become a subscriber and get access to monthly webinars (watch yourself or show in your classroom), book reviews, curriculum connections, a newsletter, and more! 

Bring Shauna to Your Teachers!

No BER seminar in your area? Don't worry! Contact me if your building or district is interested in customized,
on-site seminars. Full-day and half-day seminars available.

Contact Me

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

© 2023 by The Book Lover. Proudly created with Wix.com