Today our Mock Newbery club held one of its bimonthly meetings for December. I didn’t have to ask twice when I told the kids it’s alright to bring their lunches to my classroom. Seventeen happy, excited students brought their bag lunches, hot lunches, milk, snacks, and most importantly, their 2014 Newbery contender books to my classroom so they could eat and discuss the great stories they been reading for the past two weeks. This has got to be the highlight to my week, listening to my students eagerly discuss the books that made them laugh, cry and shudder in fear, all the while ensuring their classmates that, “this is a book you have to read!” What truly made this moment memorable was that I have been reading the books right along with the students. I was able to share in their excitement. I fell in love with the Beedle in A Snicker of Magic. (“Can we please start our own Beedle club?”) I cried at the gym when I read A Million Ways Home, and I got fighting mad during the eagle scene in Half a Chance. Some of us have decided to try writing verse after reading Brown Girl Dreaming and The Crossover, while we all fell in love with Jackson Greene and his band of conspirators in The Great Greene Heist. Finally The Fourteen Goldfish has captured many hearts and has students looking at their grandparents in a whole new light.
This is why I teach. I teach for the kids. I teach to make a difference in their lives, both now and in the future. Look at all the smiling faces. So many students just happy to be a part of a group that loves books. These kids are on their way to becoming lifelong readers. This is why I teach.