On Tuesday, I participated in a parent/teacher/student conference with one of my tenth graders (I also taught her last year), all of my colleagues who also teach her, and the guidance counselor and learning specialist (in addition to, obviously, the parent). I had recommended that this student read Stephenie Meyer’s novel Twilight, as I thought she would particularly enjoy it. She confessed she didn’t like reading for pleasure much, but with that kind of recommendation, I think she felt compelled to give it a try. She loved it and quickly started in on the sequel. Her mother just wanted to tell me she was so grateful, but what was so moving was that she did it in front of my colleagues. I didn’t really know what to say.
The learning specialist then sent an e-mail to our entire faculty — an e-high-five, if you will. She summarized what happened at the meeting. For the next two days, my colleagues were congratulating me for inspiring the student to read. I felt absolutely great. What a nice way to celebrate our successes — by publicizing that high-five in the way she did, the learning specialist made me feel great for just doing something that I do all the time anyway.
It’s funny to me how doing something I do all the time can have such a huge impact. But that’s what teaching is, and that’s why I love it.