This week was very tiring. It wasn’t such a good week. I should know by now that that happens. Somehow, though, it still seems to sneak up on me. But, I digress. The reason I’m so proud has to do with one of my 4th grade students’ (Who I’ll call Michael) moment of epiphany regarding ownership of his education. Prior to this, he had no interest in school, class work, or homework. Don’t even mention reading!
Fast forward to the second week of school when I brought in my chapters books that include: Diary of A Wimpy Kid, The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch, The Mysterious Benedict Society and Captain Underpants just to name a few. My students have been devouring them. The Secret Series was a really big hit with the girls; while Captain Underpants & Diary of A Wimpy Kid was a resounding hit with almost all the boys. Most importantly, it has been a huge hit with Michael. He absolutely loves Captain Underpants.
Here is the story of how he got started on his road to being a reader.
His father has thanked me profusely. He is very happy with Michael’s progress. So am I. But, I’m rambling yet again, so I will digress yet again and get back to the lecture at hand. Since I’m keeping better track of my student’s work (by way of portfolio), I have actually been on my P’s & Q’s. Today, I had my students complete a self-assessment of their progress for the month of September and was so, so, so, so happy with Michael’s response.
Michael finished his self-assessment and was ready to leave when he suddenly said, “I changed.”
Even though I knew perfectly well what he meant, I asked him what he meant.
(His words) Well, I like doing my class work now. I like reading. And I think I can. I think I can do it now.
I asked him when he thought he changed & what made him change. We talked about the moment during the second week when he half-heartedly completed an assessment in 10 minutes that should have taken 30. I knew that he hadn’t tried, so I refused to accept his assessment.
“No,” I told him. “I am not going to accept this. You did not try. Go back and really try. I will NOT accept this until you have given it your all.”
He was plenty mad at me, but he went back & tried. HARD. He got it after I had a small discussion with him. That is when everything changed. He turned his work in with a smile after I high-fived him. History was made for Michael at that point and time. I love those moments.