I have had the privilege of jumping back into the teaching world again. I am teaching 4th and 5th grade reading this year and it has been 12 years since I have been in an established classroom. People have been asking me how it is going. I answer,”It is just busy enough that I don’t go to bed stressed, but there is just enough time to get everything done in the day.” It’s a good tired.
I have been thankful for so many things over the past five weeks:
1)Watching students soak in the 30 minutes of silent reading time that we have on Wednesdays. They have great stamina to read extended periods and I can tell the teachers in the grades below have done a great job building that reading stamina.
2) Listening to students catch their breath as they realize a new detail about our read aloud book. They gasp when they put information together- they inhale when they hear a new thought- they hurry to write what they have figured out.
3) Celebrating their successes with them- getting to watch a child light up as he tells you about finishing his book or making a 100 on his reading comprehension test.
4) hearing feedback about how much they love the read aloud we are doing- boys that you would think would be too cool for class are plugged into the story and eager to hear the next chapter. They are identifying with characters, feeling sympathy in situations where they should, and applying it in the classroom. My 5th grade is reading The Tiger Rising and the 4th grade is reading Because of Winn Dixie. What a huge Kate DiCamillo fan I have become!
5) watching them take care of one another- Today I had the privilege of watching students come alongside an emotionally hurting child. They noticed his pain, asked me individually what was wrong, took the initiative to care for him, didn’t leave him in his sadness. My heart was so full.
There is nothing like walking through a year of learning with students in an English class. I feel blessed beyond measure.