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A Love that Builds Communities: An Interview with Every Teacher A Reader

by Mavic Basilia

Let’s face it. When you find your missing half, you can’t help but want to share your love with the rest of the world. Some couples do this by wearing couple shirts. Others perform extravagant gestures. But for Cris and Galvin Ngo, their shared passion for reading has resulted in a beautiful, creative space for book nerds—Every Teacher A Reader.

Cris used to teach reading  for several years. She’s currently working for PHINMA Foundation where she handles the formation of college students under their scholarship program.  Cris always finds time to read books and she enjoys recommending titles to people. According to her husband, she bullies people into reading stuff. (Way to go, Cris!) She also serves as Galvin’s personal librarian. ❤
Galvin works at the Department of Education as an Education Technology Specialist. Aside from watching movies, he also likes to read non-fiction books. It was through Cris that Galvin rediscovered the wonderful world of fiction a few years ago.
Follow them on Every Teacher A Reader or tweet them @EveryTeacherAR


Where and how did you two meet?

Cris: We met through the Christian Life Community when we worked on a project for the youth. But our friendship developed over coffee, mass and discussions about education and reading.

Galvin: We met through a common organization we’re part of—CLC. We worked together on a project for the organization. I guess that’s when we started to exchange messages and get to know each other… as friends, at first. :p

What is it like to be married to someone who shares the same passion for reading?

Cris: I don’t have to feel guilty when I buy books! Haha! But it’s great to read together—sometimes we even read the same book. It only becomes hard when he reads slower and I want to turn the page (Hey! Lagalagan na. —Galvin). It’s nice to share my quiet reading space with someone. And oh! It’s great to be with someone who doesn’t think it’s silly to hold quirky book-themed events. Haha!

Galvin: It’s great! We sometimes have reading time together. That’s pretty nice. We both love learning, and talking about the things we’ve learned… kinda nerdy, but it’s a happy coincidence to be able to share this with someone.

Any advice for those who are single? Married? 🙂

Cris: Ummm… maybe I’d just give the same advice—be true to yourself and know your values. Haha.. It sounds a little corny but we tend to take these things for granted. But from what I’ve learned, they will affect your relationships with other people.

Galvin: Hmmm… For the single peeps, know yourself and what makes you get up in the morning, then (if you want to) find someone you’d like to wake up next to the rest of your life. For the married peeps, enjoy being with each other each day. It truly is a gift. 🙂


Please tell us more about Every Teacher A Reader.

Cris: The original intention behind Every Teacher A Reader is that we wanted to turn more teachers into nerds! Haha! But seriously, we’re quite passionate about professional development for educators. We think that reading is an excellent way for teachers to learn new things. And maybe when their excitement awakens, they start exchanging ideas and this pushes more teachers to think about PD.

Galvin: Cris and I are both educators, and in our nerdy talks, we realized how reading more can help make us better teachers—not just to help inform our work but also to help us become more emphatic, most specially to our students. We think that more teachers should consider reading more, and so we thought of promoting this advocacy and building a community to nurture it.

What obstacles did you run into when starting the online community and how did you overcome them?

Cris: It’s still a constant struggle to keep it alive, especially since it still largely remains to be a Facebook page community. I think that’s why we’ve been trying to join events and hold simple activities. We want to discover how to expand this advocacy and make it more meaningful.



What book are you reading now?

Cris: Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I’ve only read the first few pages but so far it’s the type of book that will make you believe in the magic and liberating power of literature. It’s the type of book that reminds us how important stories are and their important role in making us more humane.

Galvin: Moonshots in Education by Esther Wojcicki and Lance Izumi. It’s a book about how to prepare your classroom for blended learning, and how to find ways to to make it work well for you.

What is your favorite reading quirk?

Cris: Many of my conversations start with, “You should read…”

Galvin: I love reading during [my] travels.

Who is your literary crush and why? 😉

Cris: Hmmm one of them is Gilbert Blythe—how can you not adore him?

Galvin: Katniss Everdeen, ‘cause she’s the girl on fire. That’s pretty hot :p

It’s not a coincidence that some of the most romantic movies involve scenes where couples read books together. You have Carl and Ellie reading on the couch in the Pixar movie Up. There’s the Joel and Clementine’s bookstore scene in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And my favorite, Before Sunset‘s opening scene set in a quaint French bookstore. Science has proven that reading books has great benefits. It brings partners closer together.

The same thing seems to have happened to Cris and Galvin. But aside from being closer, their passion has resulted in something  greater than themselves. ☁


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