Thursday, December 6, 2007

"I read it all by myself..."

Two weeks into the school year I sat down next to one of my little girls. She is shy, engaged in learning, and not very confident. During Reader's Workshop I asked her, "How's it going? Would you read this book to me?" We were at our beginning stages, we had just done a mini lesson on reading books by looking at the pictures, I didn't expect them to be using print strategies. The little girl's eyes welled with tears and she said, "Mrs. Amick, I don't know how to read."
This was my first bump in the road for this student. I guided her every step of the way through our lessons on print strategies. I showed her how to "read" pictures. I praised her in front of her peers. She started to read, she is making great strides. At parent teacher conferences I met with her dad. He is so excited about her accomplishments. He has seen her grow so much this year. He is excited about her progress.

Fast forward, December 6, 2007:
"Mrs. Amick, Mrs. Amick I can read this book all by myself!" She is holding up Mem Fox's Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild.
I talked with her about her first weeks and her disappointment she felt when she couldn't read. We cried, that little first grader and I cried together as our hearts filled with pride over her accomplishments.
I know today that if this feeling ever goes away as a teacher, I am done. I will no longer be effective as an educator. She can read the book all by herself, that is student achievement.


Jen Barney said...

Yea!!! How beautiful... that is what it is all about!

Sarah said...

Sarah-Your posts about your children are so heart-felt. I just love your passion for the little cuties! There are several people on my team who could not be more polar opposite than I. I can't help but wish you were across the hall from me. Your enthusiasm and deep caring keep me positive. Thanks.

Sarah Parker

Kathy Douglas said...

I am back! I just couldn't NOT write any more. I love your story and thought of putting it on my blog. But first I had to write the ones that happened to me this week. Thanks for being such and inspriation and not giving up your blog time!