And this is why I teach!!

So a few days ago one of my students came up to me and asked, “Would you have time to read a letter while our class is at P.E.?”  My curiosity was peaked for sure. I told her I would love to read a letter and she said, “Okay, I’ll just leave it on your keyboard. Don’t forget to read it.”

I didn’t even wait until they were at P.E. I quickly snatched the note, stuffed it in my pocket (on the sly of course) and walked the class to P.E. As soon as they were through the gym doors I picked the letter out of my pocket and read the outside:

This is a very important letter that has to do with education. PLEASE HELP!

I thought: Oh crap! What did I do this time? I may be a teacher, but I am never perfect.  I braced myself and opened the letter.

Below is an image of the letter. Names have been blotted out for internet safety, and for the respect I have for my students. 😀

I was astounded! This is exactly the kind of reflection I try and teach my students every day, and this student came preprogrammed with the ability to look within herself, and try and understand her own educational development. This is some serious metacognition! From a 5th grader even!

Needless to say, I pulled her aside and we enjoyed a half-hour conversation about all the possibilities to her difficulty. We picked a few books based on her interest in reading. I explained how maybe she was just getting more sophisticated and needed to try some books that might challenge her thinking. What an AMAZING day!

It helped me let go the fact that on this very same day, another student shot someone in the eye with a rubber band and wouldn’t own the fact that it was a mistake (Shooting the rubber band. He did say that hitting her in the eye was an accident. Thank Goodness!), or that another one of my students was off his meds and couldn’t stop his little body from flailing around so I had to keep him a safe distance from the other students lest someone accidentily get whacked in the face.

This letter renewed my faith in the fact that kids are capable of thinking about their thinking, their growth, and their education. My burning questions:  Is the parent doing something at home to help this child learn to reflect like this? If so, what? Did the child come born with a predisposition to being thoughtful? What makes her so beyond her years in this ability to reflect?

I have to admit that she isn’t the first child I have taught to have this ability, although she is the first student to write me such a remarkable letter. You just have to wonder, what makes one student so reflective, and another student not so much?

What do you think?

Enjoy the Dance ;D

Rebecca Rèe

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5 thoughts on “And this is why I teach!!

  1. I’m not a teacher but was a pupil once, a lifetime ago. I used to hide under the bed in order to read the books I got from the school library. I was forever ticked off about it. Books make one think – is why I still read them. Congratulations on having a good one! Nurture her(?) as much as you can while you can. Good luck and God bless.

    • Did you have to hide because your parents didn’t want you reading? My parents didn’t mind me reading, but I would read until late at night under my covers with a flashlight. My mom said she knew, but didn’t mind (she never learned to read until later in life and knew that reading was important to a successful life). I still read every night, and sometimes I even still read well into the night. “Reading is Thinking”… I truly believe that to be true. Plus, it is just about the only vacation I can really afford 😀

      • It is an escape. I don’t think they minded me reading; just that I was avoiding my chores while I did. We were a big family (five kids) and the interruptions were too many. I was the only one that wanted to read, the other siblings would tease me and distract me too much. I’m sure my mom sometimes just left me to read. It’s the nicest to crawl into bed (and not hide under it, now that I may) with a good book and shut the rest of the world away. A cuppa next to one etc. Do you have a favourite author/book?

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