Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sending a Kid up Everest


Report cards and parent conferences are over, and it's time for Thanksgiving break! I feel like I've worked hard enough for it!

Exhaustion makes me cranky and maybe a little fanciful. My over-exerted neurons are firing off crazy ideas and strange little mini-stories. Overall, parent conferences went very well, and I heard a number of times that I’ve made a positive influence on my students. A couple parents have thanked me for placing a particular book into the hands of their child, transforming a reluctant reader into someone hungry for more books by that author/in that series/on that topic. So maybe it’s no wonder the following conversation in the library this week was followed by a paranoid crazy fantasy:

Me: Mark, why haven’t you picked out a library book?

Mark: (skulking at the back of the line, where he always tries to hide) I hate reading. I don’t want a book.

Me: We go through this every week, Mark. Let’s pick something interesting and short.

Mark: (stomping over reluctantly) Nothing’s interesting.

Me: Look, here’s a book on Mt. Everest. (Mark rolls his eyes.) C’mon, Mark. Lots of people died trying to climb Everest. You’ll like that part.

Mark: (with a spark of interest) Really?

Me: Oh, yeah. Look, here’s a picture of Beck Weathers, who was left for dead. But turns out, he was alive and he practically had to rescue himself.

Mark: (pointing at another picture) Are those all tombstones?

Me: Yeah. Pretty gruesome, huh?

Mark: Okay, I’ll take it.

I figured at first that he was only humoring me, so we could hurry up and leave the library. But as we walked back to the classroom, I looked back and saw him reading while walking. I smiled to myself. If he liked this book, I would try to get him interested Gordon Korman’s Everest series. Maybe Mark would get really interested in Everest. Maybe Mark would become a mountain climber. Maybe Mark would someday ascend Mr. Everest. Maybe Mark would get hurt! And I would be to blame! And his mother would be crying on the news, telling the world it was all the fault of Mark’s fifth grade teacher who gave him a book on Everest …

That’s about the time I realized, I really, really, really need this upcoming holiday break.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, no! I don't need to say it. Really breath in this break. Something wonderful is happening with you. I just know it. Pruning is never pleasant, but it does reap amazing results. ((hugs))

    Enjoy your family, tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. LOL- I think you think like a writer, that's all. You always see where the story could lead. To funny! Hope mark enjoys his book!

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  3. It sounds like you need a break. I don't think you need to worry about Mark. What you did for him was a good thing. I'm a former teacher and I know how difficult it can be to get a reluctant reader to want to read. You did that, so pat yourself on the back. Besides, it sounds to me like he was interested in the gruesome aspects of the book. If that's what he's focusing on, I kind of doubt he'd try climbing mountains in the future.

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  4. LOL! Hey, you got a non-reader interested in reading something. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy your break. Happy Thanksgiving. :)

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  5. ha! Don't you love the way the mind writes scenes for us?

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  6. ps I forgot! I've given you an award! Come over to my blog and pick it up:)

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  7. hi miss dianne! yikes! i could see those headlines running through your head. ack! your mind got running out of control on that! thats a for sure sign you need some relaxing and some fun. just do it! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
    ...hugs from lenny
    ps im real thankful for having you for a special blogger friend!!

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