Tuesday, June 2, 2009

At long last, a good day

When I walked into the office this morning, I said to the secretary, "Who am I going to be today?" To my great surprise and relief, the answer was nobody! For the first time in what felt like a very long time, I got to be myself...and, for a change, it felt wonderful.

On Friday afternoon, one of my students handed me a folded note and instructed me to read it at home. (I cheated.) It read: "Dear Miss Brave, I have been practicing for level L, on Monday will you please read with me?" (Her note-writing skills have vastly improved; a few weeks ago she wrote me a priceless note, now hanging on my bulletin board at work, that read: "Dear Miss Brave, Me and Edward are mad at you because you are always passing Alyssa and Luis to the next level but you do not pass us.")

So I read with her, and sure enough she moved up a level. Then, like clockwork, Alyssa tiptoed up to me and handed me another note: "This is from Edward." (The aforementioned Edward conspired on the first note but then chickened out and asked the writer to erase his name.) Edward's note, naturally, read, "Will you move me up a level please?" So competitive! So I wrote him a note back ("I will read with you tomorrow") and made him happy.

Bayani is a tough kid to do running records with. He reads nicely but gets really, really nervous when it comes time to talk about the story and answer questions. So every time I do a running record, he seems like he's not ready to move up a level, and then he cries and I promise that we'll try again with another story in a week or so. Today we tried again, and he is now a level L. He was sitting at his desk, literally hugging a level L book to his chest, and with a beaming smile he said, "I'm so happy!" Teacher dream moment!

Rosa is a girly girl. She's the only pre-adolescent girl I've met who's had her hair highlighted. Her nails are more nicely manicured than mine, and she's always fussing with some part of her adorable matching outfit. Today I overheard Rosa saying to someone, "I'm a level K, but I want to be an L. My daddy says if I move to L, he'll buy me new shoes."

That was too funny to resist, and I was in a good mood, so I said, "Let's give it a try." We read the story about the chicken pox, and when she was retelling the part where the mom comes home and the kids realize they're about to get in trouble, she said, "Then the mom came home from work and Dusty said, 'We're busted!'"

That's when I cracked up for real. Then I asked her, "So what kind of shoes are you going to get?" And for the rest of the day, Rosa was all smiles.