Some

We sat in the sparkly white hallway, our backs against the wall. Owen’s knees were propped up, a place to rest the book he was reading. “”Get the carrots,” said mom. I put s…”

His eyes looked to me then back to the book. I watched him do all the right things, all the strategies we had been practicing. He looked at the picture, then back to the words. He studied that word that caused him to lose his reading flow. I silently cheered him on, not wanting to interrupt his work.

Just as I considered telling him the word, he said, “I need to reread this page again,” already pointing and reading each word on the previous page. He knew he would find what he needed there.

“‘Get some carrots,’ said mom. I put SOME carrots in the cart.”

A smile crept onto Owen’s face before his eyes rose from the page and found mine. My smile matched his.

These smiles are why I teach. There is beauty in watching someone do something they couldn’t do before, in the realization that they can.

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20 thoughts on “Some

  1. This is such good evidence for the “productive struggle.” It’s so good that in that moment Owen was able to struggle a bit, figure out what he needed to do, do it, and succeed. That’s such powerful learning. I can see his smile….and yours.

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  2. What a beautiful moment you captured here. And as you said, this is why we teach… watching someone do something they couldn’t do before. As a middle school teacher, this topic frustrates me at times, as I watch kids receive “assignments” that really only require them to do something they already know how to do (or don’t). What you’re describing is what real learning is all about. Love it!

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  3. What a wonderfully captured moment! I love how important your patience, your quiet is in his learning. And you capture the moment – the wait, the joy – incredibly well.

    You know, I have been toying with taking a course on teaching reading – an anomaly for a high school teacher, I know, but my students are really struggling – and this might just push me over the edge.

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  4. I love how you took such a small moment in time and shared in detail what was happening. My favorite though is your ending. So true that “There is beauty in watching someone do something they couldn’t do before, in the realization that they can.”

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  5. YES! This is why we teach! And I always love the “light” that comes into their eyes at that moment. Happy Sunday!

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  6. This moment, right here…this is why we teach. I saw a Peanuts cartoon somewhere recently. Charlie Brown says something like, “Shouldn’t we all live to make the world a better place?” and Linus replies, “Yes, but we can’t all be teachers.”
    You are making the world a better place for this child.

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  7. Yes! That is teaching’s true reward-that spark of light in the eyes when you know what you have taught has “clicked” with the student! What a wonderful moment!

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