Dubai Teachers’ Reading Group by Mary Rose Grieve

We held our final meeting of this extended year on Zoom and it was one of looking forward and embracing change; as we reflected on how we had begun, in the Secondary Library, fuelled by brownies and tea and surrounded by books and good intentions, we could easily have felt rather dejected at how our plans had been, for the most part, entirely halted by the pandemic.  Instead, it was clear that even in the midst of online learning, everyone had found new and innovative ways to ensure that they and their children continued to read for pleasure. 

It was interesting that some teachers felt that lockdown and online school had given them more opportunity for book blether, shared reading and reading aloud than they have been able to find this term back in school.  Even the books we discussed were unconventional: amazing graphic novels from Kickstarter and new books from Unbound wowed the group; I was particularly taken with Bookwyrms by Lorena Garcia, the first of a series of fantasy comics about rebel librarians.  The atmosphere of quiet (RfP) revolution permeated through the group and everyone resolved to return for our third year to continue the research and projects they had started – or to explore how this new environment can be harnessed to bring about a RfP revolution.