A Spotlight on: The Teacher Book Group

Published on: 
Tuesday, 19 February 2019 - 1:55pm
Ann Lazim, Katie Myles and Jessica Arnold


In February we had the first session of the Open University RfP and the UKLA Teacher book group. The group was led Katie Myles, Primary Advisory Teacher and Ann Lazim, our Library and Literature Development Manager. Our group joins a network of 80 other groups across the country.  Here’s an exclusive look at what they discussed, what’s next to come and the free resources that link to this book group for all those who couldn't attend.

How did the Reading for Pleasure Book Group go? What did you do?

Ann - We started off the evening by explaining the free resources available both from the Open University research rich pedagogies website and our own CLPE resources. We then encouraged the participants to chat amongst themselves and discuss a book they had brought with them. Before they came to the group we asked them to fill out a form with what they would like to get out of the group and the two main things were to meet like-minded people and find out more about books. So we tried to incorporate both of these into the session, as much as we could.

We wanted it to be a friendly way to discuss books and because we now have our inspiring library space we also wanted to involve this as much as possible. So, we allowed everyone to have a look around the library and pick out something they liked the look of then start a discussion with someone else about it. This went down really well and it was nice to see the enthusiasm of participants when picking and looking through books, making the connections between books and each other.

It was about sharing ideas and books, and because of this we wanted to share books with the participants too. We are lucky enough to have the resources to give away books, so we created the game 'Blind Date with a Book', where each participant picked a wrapped book, which they had to read ready for the next session. We also had books loaned to us from the OURfP which participants could borrow. It will be interesting to see what they say about the books they have read and the discussions that will be formed around them in the next session.

Who came to the Teacher Book group?

Katie – a wide range of people, head teachers, teaching assistants, teachers, librarians, came to this book group. We were glad there was a mix of roles as it made the evening more interesting as there were varied conversations.

What is planned for the future book group events?

Ann - We will tailor the session to the group, part of the session will be talking about books they received and they will be put into smaller groups to discuss this, then we will discuss other recommended books, including a section where Ann will recommend books specific to the group and speak about her books of the week and booklists.

Why do you think it’s important to have these book groups?

Katie – it can be difficult for teachers to find current children's literature as they don’t have enough time. It is also important that teachers have time to reflect on their own experience as a reader to support their own teaching of reading.

What will be the most useful free resources for this group?

We recommended:

What was your best part/ favourite part of the group?

Katie – seeing them recommend books to each other, which also introduced me to some new books and the thrill of giving them a book with the 'blind date with a book'.

The book group has now ended, but you can download all the great free resources that were discussed in this group.

Join us on our next start date of November 25th 2019. Get in touch to register your interest 

If you want to find out more about the Teacher Book Group and how you could get involved in one in your local area go to the Open University website.