An experienced teacher was advising me about a specific method of read-a-loud called “text to self” this week and pointed out that, especially with this particular method, I need to relate to the text personally and think those connections out loud to the students as I read the book to them. (My connections to the books I had been thinking of reading to the students all had to do with my own two children rather than to myself). The purpose of thinking these connections out loud is to model how good readers stop and ask questions, think about, and connect or define what they do not connect with in the text as they are reading. It occurred to me that making subject matter personal to the students, or even as in this particular case, revealing how it is personal to the teacher could be the key to engaging students in any subject area. Perhaps this is why I never had a favorite subject in school; it really depended on the teacher. Maybe those teachers were the ones who found a way to connect material to me personally or who were brave enough to reveal how they connected to it. The focus should be on the students’ learning and self-expression of that learning, but the teacher revealing her or himself every so often teaches students that the classroom is not only a safe place to “put yourself out there” but how making a personal connection makes subject matter more relevant and interesting. Even as people around the world spend more time behind screens, they are doing so in order to make personal connections by either expressing themselves personally or by learning from others’ expression. So, create a safe space and make it all personal for your students and for yourself.