Since November I have been working in an elementary school as a reading teacher – an incredibly gratifying job.
In the small groups I lead, I have the chance to witness children breaking through their roadblocks and growing noticeably.
Recently I shared with one of my groups the growth in their reading levels since we started working together about three weeks ago. I was excited when I found out about their progress the day before, but my face just smiled involuntarily seeing the glow in theirs as they realized their own competence.
These students still have a long road ahead of them to catch up with their grade-level peers, but moving from a “barely reading K” level to an “I can read some stories” level is a huge accomplishment for a struggling 3rd grader.
The love of reading
Most of all, I am successfully reaching my goal of instilling the love of reading into their young hearts and minds. Each day I bring a new book that made me think of one of them, the others bombard me with requests, and they all eagerly browse the piles of new reads I bring on Mondays to add to their collection.
Keep them reading
Today, as I assessed a student’s reading using running records on a book added to his collection yesterday, I was interrupted by all his connections and questions, theories and responses. I did not finish the running records, but I do not really mind – that can be done later. I gained something of higher value: a clear communication that I am on the right path with the books I have been bringing him – books that will keep him hooked, keep him interested, keep him sharing, and keep him reading.