I have quotes framed all over my room, and my favorite one is in my library: “Everyone’s a reader, some just haven’t found their right book yet.”
**Names of students have been changed for protection of privacy.**
I remember it like it was yesterday. Danny came up to my desk, all four feet of him, and exclaims in his television game show voice, “Miss Bush, why in the world do I even need to read this?! I find no use. It’s pointless! Pointless I tell you!” (Now, Danny is one of those kids that everyone loves, he takes charge of the room, wins debates, makes everyone feel welcome, very low, but very much loved by all). He was reading, I Survived the Chicago Fire.
Now, remember he loves trivia and debates. I simply reply, “Well Danny, you want to win debates right? You want to be the King of Trivia right? Well reading any books and all books will make you one of the best trivia players to ever walk this Earth!”
His reply was simply brilliant, “Miss Bush, stop pulling my leg.”
“Danny, I am not pulling your leg. Reading gives you the world in your hands. You are in control. You get to read and learn all the facts that the book has to offer. You’re in charge of your knowledge. I know you’ll take charge and do great.”
Danny simply looks at me, gives me a head nod, and walks to his reading spot.
This was in the beginning of the year. He was on a beginning fourth grade level and has now grown a full year, has read all the I survived series, and has moved onto more non-fiction and graphic novels. He is caught reading during math and bathroom breaks. He even tells teachers that come in my room, “I love reading you can learn anything you want in a book.” He found his book(s).
Now, my second example, Jessica is a girl who is high in all areas. She gets 3’s on her report card for every subject, but has stated over and over again to me, ” I hate reading. I am slow at it and I do not like it.”
She is what I would call a spitfire. My principals love using her for her opinions on curriculum, events, and so much more. She gives her opinion in the most respectable way. Her old teacher and I often tell others, “She is a role model to students and adults.”
On Thursday, my reading specialist (who’s room and position I happened to take) came into my room to observe. She wanted ideas, as she walked around she saw students on Padlet, Reading Counts, hosting book talks in small groups by choice, and a room full of kids reading and writing. I happened to be conferring with Jessica. She was telling me why she liked her book. My specialist simply asked, “Do you like reading?”
Jessica hesitated and looks at me I state, “Go on tell her the truth, no worries!”
Jessica turned to her, “I use to hate it. I thought it was so boring and pointless. It was never fun.”
“Why is that?”
Without even referencing the quote hung in my library she replies, ” I never found a book I liked until this year. I love reading now, I even do it on the Bus.”
I tell her to go look at the quote in the library, she goes, looks back at me and goes, “I believe it, Miss Bush.”
My goal as a teacher this year, was to help kids fall in love with reading. A book in their hands. I wanted them to be in love. I wanted them to fall in love. I wanted them to escape just like I do when I read. I wanted them to find their place. These proves to me that I am slowly doing that. Reading is incredible, some just haven’t found the right book yet.