Excuse me while I talk to myself for a bit. Breathe. Focus on the good moments of the day. Don’t let the mishaps overshadow a great moment.
Rewind to the beginning of one of my blocks today. The following students will simply be referred to as Blue and Red.
Before the bell rang, a few students were chatting about what we were going to do today. One guy in the back was wondering why we can’t just watch movies. I told him simply that we’re in the middle of novel study, and that it is important to finish what we start in class and in life.
Blue perked up and declared that he’s been enjoying the book, and that he liked reading.
I replied reading is great, and that I love it too.
Red quickly stated that he hates reading and that he’s never finished a book before.
I told him that he’s about to because we only have a few chapters left in this one.
We read for awhile, discussed the novel’s themes, and made predictions about what the protagonist would do. I chose to hold off reading the rest of the book, so the students would have some time to work on their focus questions. I quit reading to them with only a chapter left in the book. There was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I did mention that if anyone wanted to find out what happened with the horses, they could keep reading, but we wouldn’t discuss it till tomorrow.
The strangest thing happened, so I had to look up and check with my EA, and we were both happily surprised. They were all reading. The room was silent in a good way. They all wanted to finish the last chapter to find out if the protagonist finally grew up and could do something selfless. A few of them said they didn’t like the ending, but Blue said it fit well. Red was oddly silent because he was still reading. The bell rang for lunch, and everyone left, but Red was still at his desk because he said he had one more page to go. As Blue left his friend Red, Blue told me that The Red Pyramid was a good read, and I nodded. After Blue went for lunch, I stepped out of my room to smile to myself, and just let Red have a chance to finish without distraction. He probably won’t realise it, but in that moment, he reminded an English teacher why he puts up with so much.
Sometimes I put up with it all, so I can help a student finish his first book.