Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox

I had been absent on the day Syliva read the last few pages of The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I didn't realize how much I had enjoyed reading this book, with this student, until the day I returned. At her reading time, I told Sylivia that I was sorry I had missed reading with her and maybe she could re-tell the story to me. I had never read the book and really did want to know the ending. Instead, she insisted that we go back and re-read the parts I missed, together. At the time I was annoyed. The teacher in me wanted her to practice re-telling the story, an important skill for her to work on. Sometimes, I hate to admit, I completely miss what a student is trying to tell me. For Sylvia, reading was important, and she enjoyed Mr. Fox's exploits, but what really mattered to her was our relationship and how that played out when we read. When I think back, it truly was a very sweet, mutual relationship. She read a page, I read a page, she read a page. She enjoyed my company, I enjoyed hers. Sylvia needed lots of emotional support given her home life and I was there for her. Sylvia had difficult relationships with most everybody at school. Our relationship, on the other hand, was always on a fairly even keel. Probably because I only saw her 1 hour a day but also, I'd like to think, because we had a genuine relationship together. I liked her and she liked me. It reminds me of what I know to be true, teaching is about two souls connecting and learning together. If that isn't there...neither is real learning.

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