Thursday, January 23, 2014

Northwest Reads

Do something different. That's the way to start your day. That's what I did this morning. I teach middle school- hardened 8th graders to be exact. They aren't always pleasant in the morning. Today I started with 3rd graders!

My district has a day for our community members to come together with the elementary schools and volunteer their time to read with K-5 kiddos. I didn't have a 1st period, so I signed up to participate. I'm glad I did because this made my morning!

I must say I was a little nervous this morning as I braved the bitter wind to walk across the parking lot between our schools. How were these 3rd graders going to respond to me? What were we going to talk about? Do I ask questions while I read with them? I mean, I would ask questions but is that what they expect me to do too? Absolute nonsense went through my head.

I walked into the library and there was quite a selection of children's books laid out for us to choose from. I chose Millie Fierce and Sheila Rae, The Brave (I'm a huge Kevin Henkes fan and make my 8th graders endure Kevin Henkes read alouds from time to time). Now more questions started: Would they like my choices? Are these too baby for them? What are they going to think? Clearly, I was over thinking and much more anxious than they were. My two little escorts finally showed up and guided me to their classroom where Mrs. Florence let me have the stage!

Well once I told them I was a teacher in the 8th grade (the really big kids) next door I had them. Their eyes went big and I knew the rest would be easy. We read Millie Fierce first. Amazing book!!! Such a great lesson. These kids were such great listeners and had great things to say about the questions I asked. I figured out what to ask while I read to them. I'm a Language Arts for goodness sake! At the very end when I was saying goodbye to these sweet faces I was asked, "Are you an author too?" That question probably was the highlight of my time. I told him, "No. I'm just a teacher." I thought to myself, "But maybe some day!"

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