My Very First Post

Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

My very first post.

Where to begin? Let’s start by telling you a bit about myself. My LinkedIn summary says this:

During his 44 year career in education Dr. Bommarito taught every grade K through graduate school. The majority of his teaching time was in Title 1 buildings both as a reading specialist and staff developer. Dr Bommarito took part in a 4-year program where the Jennings school district trained its teachers in Reading and Writing Workshop. Trainers were cadre and former cadre of Teachers College, and included Isoke Nia and Katie Wood Ray. Dr. Bommarito retired from full time teaching in 2015 but continues to be active in the literacy world. He is Co-Editor of the Missouri Reader, serves on various International Literacy Association boards/committees, does volunteer work in literacy and continues to do presentations and write articles about various literacy issues.

How very academic.

My twitter account (@DoctorSam7) says I am a “senior intern”. Had just seen the movie when I said that, thought- that’s me! I am actually about to turn 70 just like the character in the movie.  I still do volunteer literacy work in an after-school program.  I love to teach. I’ll teach anything. When I got my lifeguard certification I taught swimming lessons, when I was drafted into the service and became a company clerk, the battalion sergeant-major used me to break in the new clerks (knew I liked to do it), and of course there’s those 44 years of teaching all those grades. So, when I retired (sort of) I just had to find a way to keep teaching.

It’s not all academics

My wife of 46 years and I love to have the family over, 4 grown kids, 6 grand kids. Our house could pass for a day care center. Sometimes it is! I’m blessed in that all the kids and grandkids are close by. We’re doing trips with each of my kid’s families, the next one will be in the spring to Disneyworld with my oldest boy and his family. LG LG LG

So, what’s this blog all about?

Of all the professional hats I’ve worn over the years, the one that fits me best is that of reading teacher. I’m in the twilight of my career as a reading teacher (yeah, I just won’t quit teaching) and that is a time when folks tend to get quite reflective. I’m no exception. I want to pass on to future educators some of my experiences. Most importantly I want to find ways to encourage students to become lifelong readers. Reading can open doors to many things and the sad fact is that most of the current generation is simply not walking through any of those doors because they are not reading. What to do, what to do?

Stay tuned for the next posting. It will come right after my forthcoming article in Missouri Reader goes live next week. (Really mine and Dr. Kerns, more on that next time). So next week we’ll dive into the question, how can one grow lifelong readers? Talk to you then!

Happy Reading & Happy Writing

Dr. B.

A.K.A. Dr. Sam

A.K.A. Dr. Sam Bommarito

Semi-retired reading teacher

At the time this was written the article hadn’t been published. Now it has. The rest of the posts to date can be found in the top right column of this page. Please have a look. Please comment. Please follow the blog. Push back is ok (so is praise 🙂 ) THANKS- Dr. B.



20 thoughts on “My Very First Post

    1. Kathy O'Donnell

      I read daily. I enjoy reading more than anything other than my family. I encourage me girls to read often. There is so much out there to enjoy. We just had a book fair and I got 4 giant boxes of books. My whole trunk was full of them. They should last me until 2020–our next book fair

      1. doctorsam7

        Be sure to thank your husband Pat for all the work he’s done for our local International Literacy Association group. In the past two summers we’ve gotten over 7,000 books into the hands of children in Title 1 schools during the summer. Pat’s work at the warehouse to help get those ready was just amazing! We had a lot of amazing help at the warehouse. Happy Reading and Writing- Dr. B

  1. Joan M. Brennan

    Dear Dr. B.,

    Congratulations on creating your own literacy blog! I read your entire 1st article and enjoyed it! I could certainly identify with a number of things you wrote:

    1. “I love to teach. I’ll teach anything.”
    2. “Of all the professional hats I’ve worn over the years, the one that fits me best is that of reading teacher.
    3. “I want to pass on to future educators some of my experiences. Most importantly I want to find ways to encourage students to become lifelong readers.”

    So glad you do not believe in the “R” word (Retired) when it comes to literacy. Challenged readers and the entire community continue to benefit because of this. Thank you for all you do daily to encourage young people (and ALL of us!) to become/remain life-long readers!

    Already looking forward to reading your next post!

    Happy Reading!
    Joan Brennan
    Brennan Innovators, LLC

  2. davidlharrison

    Dr. Sam, I’m glad you are doing this. The world needs and must have your voice and others like it. Congratulations and thank you. I look forward to reading your posts.

  3. authorlaurablog

    I, too, am a reading specialist and writing teacher. The magic of a child understanding the symbols on the page make words and the words make stories is the best. My favorite gift after a few years with a child who struggled with decoding and comprehension is an engraved silver bookmark that says, “Thank you for teaching me to love reading.” My goal for all of them!

    1. doctorsam7

      What a wonderful story! What a perfect goal! I’m hoping that on the second set of postings teachers like yourself will help the rest of us understand how we can help our students grow into the kind of readers who understand the joy of reading (and writing). Hope to see you again next week!

    1. doctorsam7

      Thanks so much. Also, thanks for all you’ve done for Missouri Reader. We stand on the shoulders of what you and Jennifer did to bring the journal into the 21st century while still adhering to the standards that have served the journal so well for the last 40 plus years.

  4. Kathleen Armstrong

    Dr. Sam, So glad to have read your new blog. I am your age and still teaching. I love to read and to teach with children’s literature. My classroom is a small library of its own, and my students love to choose books. There is always something new. I can’t wait to read more of your writing.

    1. doctorsam7

      You’ll soon find that I feel that student choice is the key to creating motivation. Your kids are very lucky to have you! For future blog posts follow me on wordpress or follow my professional facebook page.

  5. Laurie Finkenkeller

    Best wishes, Dr. Sam. I, too, feel strongly that children need to find books they love, so they will find the love of reading and become life-long readers. In this age of testing everything, we need people like you reminding us that what we do every day to foster the love of reading in our classrooms is so important. I am looking forward to reading your new blog.

    1. doctorsam7

      I’ve been to your class many times since you graciously accepted practicum students to come to observe you. You are beyond a master teacher. Hope you will “chime in” to the conversations on this blog. We would all benefit if you do.

    1. doctorsam7

      I am honored to have you looking in on this blog. Anything I am doing or may do pales in comparison to your contributions to our field. My read of the research says that teacher matter a great deal. Teachers make more difference that programs (1st Grade Studies). They need a place to talk to each other and support each other. I hope this will grow into one of those places. Again, thanks and best wishes. Sam


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