But I’ve got this: Slice of Life #8

But I've got this: Slice of Life #8

I don’t plan ahead very well. There are things I miss. Student passions and questions easily take me off track. Decades into this, I am still figuring stuff out.

But I’ve got this:

A room full of books.

Time to read them.

Notes left on the board, “I took The Red Pencil home. Will bring it back tomorrow.”

Frequent complaints: “What? Why do we have to go to lunch? Can’t we just read?”

Books with waitlists. Trading and negotiating over titles that are new.

It is loud in my room much of the afternoon. We usually take a while to settle. I give the same reminders every day at the same time. Quite possibly I am the only one listening.

But I’ve got this:

“I told my Mom: You need your own book. So we are heading to the public library tonight. But we’ll still read this one together.”

“Ms. Gelson are a lot of books your favourite books? Like a lot?”

“I’m going to read this one at home because it’s fatter. And I like to read at night for a long time.”

“I don’t really want this book to ever end. It’s so good.”

I could be more organized. There are things I should teach more often. I should have the “Do they actually eat the pencils?” mystery solved by now. I’m still confused.

But I’ve got this:

“Hey J! I finished the book too now. I thought it was boring at first. But then I cried.”

“There isn’t a Book 4? You are sure there isn’t a Book 4? Can you tweet the author?”

“Can we read the novel twice today? Please.”

“That book . . . That book . . . Wow.”

I want my room to be a lot of things. Most of all I want it to be where life long readers are made.

I got this.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.

21 thoughts on “But I’ve got this: Slice of Life #8

  1. After reading your words all these years, I agree, “You’ve got this.” I certainly wish my grand-girls would have you for a teacher! Love that pencil line. Sorry, I never solved it either! I considered they were similar to socks.

  2. In this post there is ample evidence of the nurturing of life long readers. Those notes and messages are gold. As they sometimes say -whatever you’re doing, keep doing it! Spent the day with a group of teachers trying to do exactly the same thing. Your post is a perfect ‘bookend’ to my day.

  3. I love the use of repetition with I got this — I could feel your emotion change each time you used the line slightly differently. I also love hearing the voices of your students – it makes it clear what you have. Agree with the pencil line – provided a quick chuckle in a serious slice. Thank you for sharing your room – I could spend all day in it!

  4. I just love this, Carrie. You captured the love of books so welll in your classroom. I enjoyed hearing the things your students say. It makes me want to come visit your classroom.


  5. Your repetition really worked. Yep, we all have our insecurities and self-doubts. But how awesome to turn it around with what you have! After the “but”, comes the truth. Your post has A LOT of truths!

  6. You DO got this! Love the comfort and security of your room surrounded by books. Sigh. A perfect match.

  7. Carrie you sure do! One of my favorite quotes has been “All I want for my birthday is books! In a second grade classroom. The joy of reading!

  8. Well it is clear that you have what is most important–what lasts well beyond formal schooling comes to a close. You engender the love of reading and in doing that allow your students to begin to understand the solace and joy reading produces.

  9. Oh, you’ve totally got this.

    I love this – I think it would be a fun exercise for teachers to eavesdrop a whole day and jot down what “they got”. Very cool Slice.

  10. You have TOTALLY got this! My goal is to create lifelong readers, too! The dialogue happening in your room is proof that you are making it happen! Great work!

  11. “Ms. Gelson are a lot of books your favourite books? Like a lot?”-A-dor-able!
    “There isn’t a Book 4? You are sure there isn’t a Book 4? Can you tweet the author?”-This makes my heart sing!

    I love the way you set up this post. You got this!

  12. Oh this. Yes this. This is exactly how I feel every.single.day. So much I want to do better, do more, just do. But so important to honour the things we do well. And the pencils- do they actually eat them?! Thank you for sharing this.

  13. Love this!

    Ironically, I just drafted tomorrow’s SOL about passion for reading . Yours makes me want to do another! Maybe later this month… *makes a mental note*

    As for the pencils, my classroom okay-to-borrow pencils have neon pink duck tape, and they still disappear. You may have a valid hypothesis. Teenagers will eat almost anything…

  14. “I want my room to be a place where lifelong readers are made.” Yes, yes, yes. Even though I fervently believe this, too, I always feel like reminders like this post inspire me to be my better teacher self. So thank you. I’m going to think about this a lot as we move into a little Read-a-thon unit coming up with my 9th graders… 🙂

  15. How did I miss this post a couple of days ago?! It’s my new favorite favorite, to borrow a line from Ballet Cat. I love the pacing and the repetition and the focus on this one thing that is the most important thing–book love.

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