The Silence of Reading - Nancy Teaches

A Teacher Who Loves to Learn


Thursday, December 9

The Silence of Reading

I just had one of those incredible moments that brings a teacher close to tears.  Happy tears!

I was sitting in my classroom on this bitterly cold winter morning.  I was not feeling well, and I admit, a bit grouchy.  I was working with students one-on-one during Reading Workshop and hiding my yearnings for winter break.

In between meeting with students, I would grade a paper or two, check my notes for students that I wanted to work with, and even glance over at Twitter on my laptop.  Amidst all of this, I suddenly noticed the silence.  Besides the soft music in the background, there wasn't a sound.

I looked up and saw every one of my students so engaged in the books they were reading, I worried if they were even breathing.  Suddenly, my entire view of the day changed.  This is what matters.  They were reading.  Every student was reading.   Every student was reading a novel they had chosen.  They were barely moving except to turn pages.  Not a sound.  The silence of reading filled the room.
The joy I felt watching them brought tears to my eyes.  This is my second year with this group and when I got them, they were considered to be the toughest group in the school.  Now, they are the example for other classes.  Rather than jump for joy or tell them what I was feeling and interrupt the beauty of the moment, I just watched.

When this period is over, I plan on telling them how magical it was for me to watch them read.  I will ask them to share with the group where they were in their novels.  I will listen and let the moment be filled with joy.

Suddenly, I was warm and giddy without any of my earlier grumpiness.

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