Te@chThought‘s Day 9 challenge is “Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care).”
It is difficult to think about personal accomplishments as a teacher. I think that it is a deeply ingrained habit in most teachers to contemplate the things that we still need to do. We think of the learners that we wish that we had more time with. We think of the daily accomplishments of our learners and make plans for tomorrow.
My favourite shared accomplishment this year was unexpected. I had a student make a big impact on the very first day of school when I was taking our new Middle School students on a tour of the opportunities available in their new school. We had reached the library and he HATED the library. He was adamant that I could not make him go there, and that he would be very unhappy if he was forced to go. He told me that he had never read a full book. He did not intend to start participating in school-wide silent reading this year. I asked him to give me a chance to help him find a better book.
He was not interested in reading for a while. But, eventually we found a book that got his attention. Then, we found another one. Books became part of our daily conversation. He was eager to write reflections about his reading, and demonstrated insightful thinking and complex connections in his writing.
In the Spring he stood at his desk and loudly confessed about how much he LOVED reading! He laughed and said that the library was his favourite place. He was unhappy when I ended Silent Reading each day. He walked and talked more confidently and became eager to match other readers to “better” books. He was excited about this new discovery and uncovering a previously unknown academic strength.
I cherish this memory. I don’t know what led him to his negative feelings about reading, but his new love of reading is an #eduwin! Earning this learner’s trust is something that I carry with me. This is why we teach.