May 16, 2012

One good day keeps you coming back

An old golf expression says, "One good shot keeps you coming back." I suppose this is true, since one good one is usually all I can count on. I think teaching is similar.

All it takes is one good day, occasionally, to keep you coming back. Recently, I had that kind of day.

A student wrote on our classroom web site's message board that she had read 15 books, falling short of the 25 that I challenged my students to read. "25 is just not realistic for me," she explained.

I called her to my desk and asked her to consider her whole life as an independent reader. "What is the most books you have read in a single year, prior to this one?" I asked.

"Probably three," she said.

"You didn't read 25," I said. "So what? Consider what you've accomplished, while reading 15." She had become an avid reader in one school year -- something, I told her, that is pretty special.

As she walked away smiling, I smiled too and thought, Now, this is a day that will keep me coming back.