Tag Archives: The Maze Runner
“April is the cruelest month” ~ TS Eliot
I happen to think Eliot is wrong. March is the cruelest month. It’s a long month. There are no holidays to celebrate. Nothing bright and cheery to break the monotony of the days. To add insult to injury, there’s daylight savings time. Just when I’m able to drive to school in bright sun, the time springs ahead, and I’m suddenly leaving for school with headlights blazing through the darkness. Moreover, the temperature is fickle. One day it’s 80 degrees, and the next? Snowing. I detest March.
And so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to look at my blog calendar to see no blog posts for this month. If you look at my book tally for this month, I’ve fallen off significantly from January and February. As March winds down, I’m looking forward to the earth’s rebirth. And I’m looking forward to some reading rebirth.
At the end of January, I posted my troubles finding my Schmidt’s Pick for February. After much reading, I did indeed find a Pick for February. I was reminded the other day that I never shared with you, my dear reader, what that Pick is. Call it oversight. Blame it on being busy (juggling full-time teaching and full-time doctoral work is a bit demanding). Or blame it on me. I’m inundated daily with spam messages left on the blog (some messages are downright offensive), and I assume, wrongly, that the majority of my readers aren’t readers at all but spammers.
One of the great joys of being a middle school teacher is the time within the block when my direct instruction is over, and my students are applying the lesson taught to real world setting. Once the students are working – on their own, in small groups, in larger groups, or going back and forth between independent and group work – my classroom becomes a rather hectic place. There are 28 young adolescents with a myriad of needs. As I move around the room checking in with students, providing more clarification, or conferencing with students, I also get the chance to just observe the students. If I do this right, I can watch and listen without the students realizing I’m there (if they know I’m standing and watching them, they’ll tense up and try to produce something that they think I want). It’s during this time watching them that I start to question both their product and my pedagogy. It’s during these times of observation that I grow the most as a teacher. As a result of observations over the course of the year, I have noticed an interesting reading trend in my classroom. I don’t know what it means or why it’s happening. It’s just one observation of millions during the first five months of the school year.
Earlier this week, one of the few days we were in school without snow and ice days, one of my students stopped to talk to me after class. This is not an odd occurrence because the students have lunch after this particular block so they’re not rushing to be on-time for a class – but I digress. The conversation began with my student recommending a book to me. Then the conversation took a turn. The young lady was upset and needed to share that she was upset. And as an aside, I love that books can be the bridge to start to build the teacher – student relationship since connections with teachers are so important to middle school students. At first I thought she was upset about a grade or an assignment or a peer. Nope. None of the above. She was upset because she had just finished the first two books of a series, and she now had to wait until July to find out what was going to happen next.