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.