01 March 2011


Toward the end of January I started to carry a book in the halls of my school. Most students walk by without making eye contact, even the ones I know (sometimes especially the ones I know). One student, though, seemed to make it a point to poke fun at the fact that I "always have my nose in a book." After a few consecutive encounters with him, I asked,

"Do you like to read?"
"Well, no, not really."
"Hm, I think you might like some of the stories I read..."
"Yeah, but if my friends saw me carrying a book, they'd just laugh."
"Ah, I see. Don't you think the skills you'll gain from reading are more important?"
"Yeah, I know."
(Surprised at how quickly he responded in my favor) "Yeah - there are some great things to read out there..."
"Yeah, I know."

Wow. I couldn't believe how he responded. Call it what you will, I really do think it was important for him to see a teacher reading...

Our next encounter was even more encouraging: I saw him at his locker and ducked into my room. I grabbed a small magazine called "Read." The edition I saw first was all about boxing, and specifically Muhammad Ali.

I handed him the magazine and said, "I thought you'd like to read this."
"Oh, yeah."
I showed him all the parts of the edition. "All of these are different things about boxing and Muhammad Ali."
"Cool. All the things I like!"

I'm not sure if he'll read it. But for some reason I think he might.

This is why I read when everyone is watching. This is yet another reason teachers MUST read.

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