Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slice of Life - Help Needed

On Tuesday afternoon (of last week) at dismissal, a little boy was telling me he was confused with a part he was reading in his book.  I mentioned we could meet tomorrow and talk about it.  We could have a reading meeting.  I had been wanting to conference with this little boy about his book selection for about a week but was torn because his reading behaviors had improved with this book.  He had stamina, focus, and was leading a readerly life by taking the book back and forth from home and school for reading.  He told me his dad had forgotten about him and he just kept on reading because he was in the reading zone not just one night but two nights in a row.  Wednesday came and at the end of the day he reminded me about the reading meeting and I apologized for forgetting and we could do it tomorrow.  Thursday came and I had to fit in a bunch of content so our reading time turned into a small research project and our reading meeting was postponed again.  We didn't have school on Friday.

Monday came and the conversation was a faint memory in my mind until at the end of reading workshop this cute little boy came over and said, "Mrs. Robek you forgot about my reading meeting."  I gushed with apologies and promised tomorrow.  He replied, "I will write you a note."  I soon received a little yellow post it note and in black sharpie which we use to make this brighter and stronger it said - Meeting with Nathan.  I placed it right by my rocking chair in hopes it would help me uphold my end of the teacher - student bargain.  It did!  As I was doing status of the class, when it was Nathan's turn to share what he was reading and where he was, I waved the little post it note to him and he just beamed that I had remembered.  

I am grateful Nathan saw I needed help.  I'm not proud I forgot for a few days or let the schedule of school prevent me from stopping the first time he asked to chat about his book.  However, he persevered and with persistence made a plan to help me remember.  We had a delightful conversation about capital letters within dialogue and how to keep track of who is talking.  I am thinking more about ways readers can request a conference based on their needs, when they feel the need for a conference.  Reader's have needs to be addressed when they arise, not when I have time in my schedule.  It looks like I have more to balance.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering a writing community each Tuesday.


  1. Your post helped me to feel like I am not alone when it comes to fitting it everything in and realizing how quickly time can fly by.

  2. What a great student to keep persisting. He must have been very excited to talk about his book. Our busy lives make it hard to fit everything in, I understand how this passed you by, Mandy.

  3. So wonderful that Nathan knew he just had to meet with you - and he made sure he did. He has a sense of agency about his reading life - wonderful!

  4. I love this. It's always heartwarming hearing about a student who cares as much as you do about learning, especially reading. I love that he wanted to make sure that meeting happened; it meant something to him. I'm glad he could brighten your hectic day!

  5. We can all learn from Nathan and I have to admit I to forget conferences. I am thinking about " I am thinking more about ways readers can request a conference based on their needs, when they feel the need for a conference. Reader's have needs to be addressed when they arise, not when I have time in my schedule." I may be borrowing Nathan's sticky note idea.

    1. Maria, thanks for your comment. A yellow post it note was quite effective, maybe that is the simple tool we can use for conference requests.