Friday Follow (up) #sol19

For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol19) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.

Friday Follow(up)  #sol19

March 22, 2019

IMG_3793He comes more willingly down.  Eyes bright when they meet mine.  A little more eager to find his book and his writing.  A little less shy to ask if he can finish his chips or his cookies on the way down the hall.  A little less defensive.

It’s been months since our get-togethers started.  At first he would start each little time with I’m a really good reader.  

Yes, I would say,  I know you are.  Doesn’t it help a little bit to have some quiet time to work on your reading and writing?  I know it helps me. 

He wasn’t buying it.

Then he rewrote his opinion piece… and he loved it.  We typed it up.  Can I take a copy of this home? he asked shyly. And one for my teacher? 

We found a funny book we both loved, reading and talking about a chapter most days.  That Sugar, she’s the kind of chicken that likes to be tricky.  

But then just when everything was going smoothly,  yesterday on his way out the door, we had this conversation.

This is the kind of work you can do when you’re reading.  You’re the kind of reader who knows how have an idea about a character and then find evidence. 

My teacher and I always work together. 

This is the kind of work you’re ready to do on your own. 

He stops in his tracks and turns to look me full in the face.  I lean over so that our eyes meet.

My mom and dad think I’m really, really smart. 

I also think you’re really, really smart kiddo(name withheld) 

He smiled a little smile and was on his way.

But I wasn’t on my way.  My heart ached and I felt sharp tears forming.  Did he think he was coming to work with me because we (I) thought he wasn’t smart?  This was terrible.

So today.  I took a deep breath and went back to pick him up.  I opened his classroom door and said, Why don’t you bring your writer’s notebook and your novel today?  

He came willingly. He smiled up at me.  We walked down to the literacy center talking about our day so far.  When we sat down I asked him.  Hey, kiddo (name withheld),  I have been thinking about you telling me that your mom and dad think you’re smart yesterday.  Why did you say that?  

He turns.  Those gorgeous brown eyes look at me with complete trust and honesty.

I just wanted you to know they think the same thing you do.  

We smile at each other and get to work.

We are going to be just fine.

11 thoughts on “Friday Follow (up) #sol19

  1. After a day like today, reading this was like a cool drink of water for my parched soul. That last line got me. Good for you to ask that last question, “Why did you say that? “. Those are the questions I think of way too late.

    Thank you for this slice. 🙂

    • i don’t think you do think of them too late. We pour so much into it. Tonight I had to come home and just watch basketball. My teacher bag is full, but it’s just sitting there for now.

  2. Relationships matter, and so do perceptions. Kids are so fragile and our words can be so internalized. I love how you capture the interactions, but also the emotions. I also love how you weave in the back story of how your relationship developed and the mini-milestones.

  3. Beautiful slice .. tears streaming (glad I haven’t gotten ready yet!) I agree with Melanie – relationships matter and you took the time to make sure you understood his point of view. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us to slow down and listen.

  4. This is such a great/important slice. It says a lot that you asked the question, yes, but it also said a lot that he said the line before that. His parents believed in him, and he knew that you did, too. Glad you made us all pause to think about this.

  5. Melt! So important that we do our best to understand where kids are coming from, that we don’t operate on assumptions. This story is a beautiful representation of your belief in kids! Love! Thanks for sharing and seeing (name with withheld).

  6. How amazing that student has you in his corner, as well as his parents, that believe in him. I loved the feeling I got while reading this! Keep doing what you are doing – – it is making a difference.

  7. We never know what they’re thinking … it is alarming and sad in turn, sometimes. This, however, was so uplifting – I applaud his courage in speaking even if he couldn’t articulate exactly what he was feeling as well as your intuition. Moments like these are some of the greatest.

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