"Mrs. Stotz, I need a new book. Can you help me find a new book to read?"
Music to my ears this morning as two of my 8th grade boys made this request.
What one thing do you hope to accomplish in life? Is there something that, after you accomplished it you were truly proud, not so much of yourself, but of what you accomplished?
As a teacher trying to live and teach intentionally and reflectively, I've spent some time thinking about my mission as a middle school teacher. Why do I teach? What do I hope to accomplish? I love reading. I love books. Spend any amount of time with me or in my home and you quickly learn this. I have books everywhere, I'm reading several books at a time, and I'm trying to get you to read the amazing book I just finished. So one aspect of my mission as a middle school English teacher is to expose kids to books and introduce them to the joy of reading. I hope to create life-long readers.
JP is one of my new readers. This morning I pointed out to him the books he had read since December, counting 5.
"Wow!" He said, "I think I might have read one book all of last year. Wait! I also read Persepolis and One More River! I've read 7 books!"
This prompted the other boys to start counting how many they've read. It was several more then they used to. Some of them will still say they don't like reading, but they are reading, by their own choice!
If I do nothing else this school year, I will still be happy because I have accomplished turning several reluctant readers into avid readers.