Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Is this part of my evaluation?

What I am about to tell you happens in schools each day but you never hear about it. The media will not cover it and there is no standardized test to measure the results. The things I am about to describe are more important than any test and will help kids more than any test.  Just think about it. These things happen EVERY SINGLE DAY around the nation. I decided to write about them because they all happened to me today.

5:45 AM- Arrive at school

7:15 AM- One of the students I mentor asked to borrow money for lunch. The student is on free lunch but is so hungry it just does not suffice. Five dollars – to this 18 year old.

9:00 AM- I notice a student is very sick and tired. He works at night to support his family. He is having a hard time focusing on his book. I ask him if he wants to take a nap. He says he got four hours of sleep and feels really sick but does not want to get a “zero.’ I tell him not to worry- go back to the bean bag and take a nap. I understand. After class this basketball player surprised me with a little half hug and said, ” I won’t forget that man.”

11:00 AM- Planning time! Nope. Three students come by looking for good books to read. We spend 45 minutes digging into books.

12:30 PM- Headed to lunch but football player approaches to ask for help with graduating and getting eligible to play NCAA Division One. I don’t know this fellow but a coach referred him to me. I skip lunch and we spend the entire time making a plan. I tell the student that starting today I am his graduation coach. I do not get paid for this position but I am graduation coach for 14 football players. Student says everyone thinks he is happy but he is very stressed out about his future. This job takes me hours each week.

3:00-5:00 PM- Tutoring after school for the ACT. There is no pay for this.

7:00 PM – Headed to the gym to watch end of JV basketball game and Varsity game.

9:00 PM – Home

This article is not about me. It is about teachers. We do what we have to in order to hold lives together. I salute all of us who have days like this. I could write this stuff each night as could millions of teachers. Oh, I forgot one thing. 2:50PM – call in service request for broken copy machine. You never hear about what teachers really do- maybe it is time.





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