Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Chance

I was surprised by my reaction.  Raw emotion.  The conversation continued as I wiped the tears that slipped down my cheeks.  If I had known I would have prepared myself in some way (I'm not sure how) and I would have warned the parents who sat across from me at the table.  It was Parent Teacher Conferences. I hadn't expected to cry.

Not to boast, but I have the best job in the school; I help students to discover the joy of reading and books.  I am the reading teacher and the bonus is that I write with kids too.  A dream job, indeed.

It is true that some children do not have access to books.  It is true that some families do not relish being transported by words or intrigued by learning new things just with the turn of a page.  And it is true that I worry that there are children who will not develop a passion for reading because they do not have a champion in their lives.

Through blurred vision, I thanked this husband and wife.  Reading is just what they do in this family. These two professionals come home after a busy, long day and they listen to their kids read-if not at night in the morning.  Even the youngest, not yet in school reads.  They also have regular family read-alouds.  Maybe they all jump into bed under a downy pile of comfort or lay by the wood stove and listen to  their dad read Charlotte's passionate and tearful farewell to her friend Wilbur or  laugh while the words tumble off dad's tongue while he reads Green Eggs and Ham.  It is what they do as a family.  They read. The printed word is held in high esteem.

Yes, I was vulnerable.  My voice shook.  I cried.  I celebrated their passion.  I ended the evening knowing that not every child has books at home, but every teacher that they encounter in their lives can be their champion.


Anonymous said...

I bet those parents felt so honored by your passion and words. You've captured the moment, and the feeling, beautifully.

Kris Shrontz said...

Your passion for literacy rings loud and clear in your passage. Your students are lucky to have a champion in a teacher like you that can light the fire enough to cherish that time at home reading.