In one of many guilty pleasure television posts last year, I wrote about an inspirational American Idol contestant. If you've ever watched the show (c'mon, you might as well admit it... there are millions of us), you know that Idol started a big push for charities around the country and the world a few years ago. There's an episode each season now called "Idol Gives Back." Carrie Underwood sings touching songs while video montages are played of the judges volunteering for different organizations, and fans are encouraged to call in their contributions for good cause after good cause. It's a full-fledged extravaganza!
Okay, Idol, along with my Jan./Feb./March each year, I'll send in $5 too. Make it count :).
Aaron approached me in the hallway on his way to another class.
"Hey... uh... Mrs. Ferri?" He flipped his little skateboarder boy hair to the side.
"I'm sorry. I have to tell you that I read ahead in the book last night. It's just that I finished the reading homework, and it was getting so interesting, and I had to know what happened next."
"Don't spoil it for anyone! Make sure you don't tell."
"I won't, I won't. It's just getting so good! I couldn't help it."
"I know. Even though it makes it a little harder to talk about foreshadowing and making predictions when you read ahead, can I just tell you something? It's exciting for me that all you guys are enjoying this book enough that you want to read ahead."
"It's really a good book. Thanks for making us read it."
"Aaron, that just warms your English teacher's heart."
To make a long story short, I had to put in a lot of leg work in order to be able to teach this novel. I was really excited to share it with my kids, and I hoped that they would respond positively. I also hoped that they would surpass my expectations and actually do the reading on their own that I asked them to.
I am ecstatic to see students carrying their little books around all the time. It is thrilling to have other teachers tell me that my students come to their classes talking about the book and acting excited about the reading. I am loving the discussions we're having in class and the quality thinking my students are doing. The conversation with Aaron and others with students like him today make me feel validated and inspired to keep pushing and trying new things. It is a fact of life that every experiment will not go as well as this one. I've already had lessons that I've had to change mid-day (or sometimes even mid-hour) in order to try to salvage the learning for the day when things aren't working. However, I am learning every day, and that's a great thing for my kids. When things work out as beautifully as they have with this book, it makes all the rest of it worth it. My work is paying off in a big way; what a series of good days this has been!
Thank you, Aaron, you made my day.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Posted by Jessi at 11:23 PM