Monday, October 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I'm thrilled to link up with Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers each Monday and share our reading lives. Check out their sites for more information. 

I read a lot this weekend. I needed to read three books: The Doldrums, Another Kind of Hurricane, and The Hired Girl. But I also knew what my schedule looked like. (Insane as ever.) So my sure way to make sure I accomplished that reading? I told my homeroom class that they had permission to give me tons of grief if I didn't finish. They were glad to take on that challenge.

And it was in that conversation I realized how far we've come this year. Several kids asked what books I needed to read. In sharing them one asked if the illustrator for the cover of Another Kind of Hurricane was the same as the cover illustrator of May B. I didn't know, so we checked May B. and I promised to check the other book when I got home. (They are the same.) This led to a conversation about illustrators and authors, a conversation about why I had put off reading The Hired Girl, and reassurances from my students that they knew I'd find the time this weekend. 

"Steal minutes, Mrs. S. I beg you can find time while waiting in line," one child told me.

They've been listening. 

Thank goodness.

Recently while listening to a podcast I heard an educator refer to October and say it is when teachers get "the October Blues." That made sense to me. The year is finally settling into a routine. The craziness of August and September have past. However, now I can see where I wanted to be by now, and know that I am no where close. It's easy to think you've failed.

The kids have settled in too. The honeymoon period has passed and they are absolutely willing to show you their true selves. My heart is heavy with burdens of theirs that I am trying to carry for them, to lighten their load, but there is only so much I can do.

Only so much.

I have such an issue with that. I want to "fix" everything. I want each student to go home to a happy house, with an entire family, with enough food, with enough love, with, with, with. Life is hard for kids today. Life is hard for me. I need to remember that.

Today I vow to put aside my October blues, remember how far we've come, and grin as I tell my homeroom kids this afternoon that I read them all. And I will try and remember, I've got this.

So, what did I read this week? A lot. And I cannot wait to share these titles with my beautiful students. We've come so far already.