A Door as a Window for Read Across America Day

March 1, 2013 — 2 Comments

There are many great reasons to teach at the high school level: no outdoor recess duty, college level content, plus, a teacher never has to choose a “line leader”. Best of all, there are no bulletin board requirements.

While most elementary school classroom walls are crammed with colorful thematic cut-outs (apples, shamrocks, stars), high school walls are monochromatic. While middle school classrooms have student work displayed regularly, an essay hung in September will curl and fade on the wall of a high school classroom twisting in the air like an ancient leaf of papyrus.

Generally speaking, high school teachers do not spend a lot of time decorating the classroom. Subject content or motivational posters are the wall covering of choice, unchanged for the requisite 181 days of instruction. Perhaps it is inevitable that teachers who share classrooms do not personalize classrooms.

However, for one brief part of the 3rd grading quarter, Read Across America Week (February 25-March 1st) changed the decorating habits of the faculty at Wamogo Middle/High School.

English teacher door...a wide rang of reading complete with motivational poster!

English teacher door…a wide rang of reading complete with motivational poster!

In a collective effort to demonstrate the importance of reading to students, teachers from every discipline decorated their classroom doors with materials they have read or are currently reading.


When sharing a door meant less space, this resource room teacher used a poster.

Social Studies (Gr 7) had this door and the side wall as well!

Social Studies (Gr 7) had this door and the side wall as well! The genre range (politics-humor-sports) was astounding!


The Art teacher door centered around the command “READ”.


Health and Physical Ed teacher revealed a “retro” fondness for the books that contributed to her growing up including Erich Segal’s “Love Story”


Alternative education students had to walk through a double door display! Students selected the books they read as well in this display.


The resource room mixed decorative flowers with John Wooden “On :Leadership”


One Social Studies teacher took the assignment to heart by hanging what he reads, quite literally, onto the door and walls….He was considered the “winner!”

Admittedly, when the “Doors of Wamogo” was announced, there was a little hesitation. What would go on the door? When was this “due”?

Finally, a few brave souls stepped up. First, there was the Social Studies teacher, an Army Reserve Colonel, who started by hanging “classified” documents on his door. His display was followed by the Business and Career Department teacher, also a basketball coach, who hung sports magazines and the cover of a Bobby Knight memoir.

The English Department members, the Literary Specialist, and the media center Librarian displayed a range of the reading, from Where the Wild Things Are to Great Expectations.

As the week went on, the competition became a little more intense. Finally,  the Grade 8 Social Studies teacher simply emptied out his bookshelf and placed all his favorite texts alongside the door in addition to the door.

Side shot of the "Classified" materials read by a Social Studies teacher

Side shot of the “Classified” materials read by a Social Studies teacher

Perhaps one of the more interesting outcomes was the sharing of titles between faculty and staff. “Oh, I loved that book!” one teacher would say to another. “This is a hard book, but well worth the effort,” said one teacher. “Yes, we read this in our ‘book club’!” exclaimed another. “Who is the Jody Picoult freak?” questions a science fiction reader. “How much Stephen King can you read?” was the retort.


Math teacher places “Put Me in the Zoo” on his door; hopefully. this says more about his new baby daughter than the classes!

Students had a chance to look at all the titles: assigned reading from high school that they currently are reading (Romeo and Juliet, Animal Farm), political/history books, and sports memoirs. There were magazine covers, newspaper mastheads, and comic strips. Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook logos were prominent, social media as informational texts.

So what the “Doors of Wamogo”  created for Read Across America Day in our small rural school was a very large window. The doors provided a window into the lives of our faculty, a window for our students to see us as readers, and for our students to see what books made us successful.

These doors illustrate how reading gave each teacher and staff member a chance to at the window of opportunity; reading = individual success.

We had so much fun, we might try decorating again next year!

Happy Read Across America Day, 2013!


Taking the playfulness of a Dr. Seuss motif to heart with replicas of books shared by students.

2 responses to A Door as a Window for Read Across America Day


    Oh wow! I love your blog and the door descriptions. We are seeing into people’s souls.


    Thanks, Laurie. I am hoping this has the desired effect on the students…make them aware they should be reading…. (If not, much blue painters tape was used in vain!)

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