This summer is bittersweet. I will be leaving my position as a high school English teacher to pursue a doctoral degree in Secondary English Education at UConn. I feel sad to be leaving my colleagues and readers but excited for this new adventure. I’ve been thinking about some of the moments I will miss most with my readers, and a few (okay, twenty…I got carried away) are listed below. I dedicate this list to all of the reading teachers out there. Being a teacher is the most rewarding experience in the world.
- The look on students’ faces when they return a book and we tell them there is a sequel.
- The clawing, reaching, and grabbing of books. All’s fair in books and war.
- When the bell rings and three students are still reading at their desks.
- When a student walks into a classroom in tears and thrusts a book at us.
- Making the boys cry. Thanks, John Green.
- When students whine that their to-read lists are too long.
- Waitlists for books. Not fun to keep organized…but fun to watch them check where their names are on the lists every day.
- When students ask, “Can you get me other books by this author?” We point to two on the shelf, and they look at us like we gave them free kittens.
- When an author tweets/emails our students back. Thanks, authors. You don’t even understand how excited they get. The squeals can be ear-piercing.
- When students battle over which book is better. This will never get old, will it?
- Searching for our names on Twitter and seeing kids posting about books/YAL. #guilty
- When students call our classrooms the free bookstore. Our hearts swell with pride every time.
- Changing a self-proclaimed “non-reader” into a reader. Because after all, everyone is a reader—some of us just don’t know it yet.
- When a teacher complains that a student was reading one of “our books” in his/her class, and we have to feign disappointment in the student.
- Listening to students’ book talks for books we haven’t read yet. And having to add our names to the waitlists for those books.
- When another English teacher compliments us on the writing of one of our readers. Thanks for being great models, authors.
- Telling students that we met [insert author here]. They gaze at us as if we are celebrities. Nope, we were giddy schoolgirls (or schoolboys) when we met them. It wasn’t pretty.
- We can’t relive a book for the first time, but it is almost as fun watching a student experience it for the first time.
- Getting a new book and knowing our students will be just as excited about it as we are.
- Receiving emails from students (who graduated over five years ago), asking for book recommendations. Here’s to hoping they keep in touch!
What are your favorite moments with your readers? Share a few!
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