Today as I sat out at my in-laws looking out at the mountains I read “For Every One” by Jason Reynolds. A letter to all the readers who jump into its pages. I reassurance to me that dreams are to be pursued, without a timeline but with passion.
AS I read it I could not help but feel that, while my dream has yet been fully realized, I am well on my way of getting there. I love the job I do, I love teaching, I love talking books with my students, reading their words, giving them feedback and doing it all again week after week. The moments when students are quietly reading or joyfully sharing the funny parts in a text. The opinion paragraphs on cell phone use or the poetry inspired by The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The protests and “I guess” after a long debate on the end of Peak, the parent phone calls about their kids reading at home when they have not in the past. All of these moments or moments like them are what I dreamt about as I learned in University as I continue to learn now. Those moments when students realize the power they have in their learning and the moments that follow as the proudly display those learnings. That is what I dream of as I reflect on what I want a classroom to look like.
I get to live my dream most days. Sure some don’t go as planned but “Big Picture” I am living the dream.
Today I ran across a post from a teacher looking for more suggestions on computer programs to help develop readers… If you have read my blog before you can infer what I did next and you would be correct. I entered a conversation about the “why” around computerized reading programs. Like all programs we need to ask the “why” I think with reading programs that run the risk of replacing a teacher with screen and a reader with a robot, we need to be even more discerning.
When I think about kids playing “teacher” at home I can’t recall them ever saying OK class turn on your computers and log into AR. The dream of a teacher and thus the dream of the classroom has always been Reading and Writing and Discussing. I wonder if today more students dream of becoming teachers so they can have students doing computer reading programs than ones that want to read with their students and learn with them. I can’t imagine that is a fun game to play and I have a hard time imagine that kind of classroom would be a fun one to be in.
A book holds inspiration, emotion and adventure in its pages. Things dreams are built on. A computer holds clicks, programs and tests. I encourage everyone to chase after their dreams, if you have lost sight of them in the forest of pushed programs and test friendly activities it isn’t too late. Sometimes we lose sight of our dream that doesn’t mean it is gone just the fire is burning a little less bright. Teacher friends, think back to when you dreamed of being a teacher, was programs the dreams or reading with kids? Was homework the dream or joyful learning?
I am glad I had the chance to read a wonderful book today, to let it inspire me and I plan to pass it on to others.
We need to remember teachers, We are Dream Makers. It is an important job, don’t squander it.