ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 93, Wednesday, February 6
Today Haley 'made my day' -- maybe even my month and year. We have been reading Dickens' Great Expectations since October, and today, after 45 chapters out of 59, someone said, "We're getting close to the end," to which Haley quickly replied, "Oh I don't want it to end. I love this book!" I've tried to convince myself over the years that I don't care if students 'love' a book I'm forcing them to read, but it's just self-delusion. I do hope, wish, and very much want my students to love the books we read. If they don't (which is usually the case), I can live with it, but when they are genuinely captivated by one of the books I choose, I feel like a new-born teacher. After class, I paused at the window and looked out at the blustery winter day. All was gray and grim outside, but inside me there was something sunny, thanks to my passionate student.
I had to leave an 8th grade class for a few minutes today to help a parent find someone. I was gone from my room for about five minutes, enough time for a group of teenagers to grow restless and rowdy. However, as I walked back down the hall to my room, I heard only quiet talking coming from my classroom. When I walked in, many of the students were reading, and the others were softly talking among themselves. I was deeply gratified and appreciative, and I took a moment to thank the students. I told them I had great admiration for their courteous and trustworthy behavior.