This morning, Alex, a friend from last year, came bounding in with a book in a plastic bag.  He walked up to me, pulled out the book, and began reading. Without saying hello, or anything else.

Alex was definitely a struggling learner.  His biggest hurdle was always his confidence and anxiety.  He’d never been to preschool or really around other kids much. School was a big adjustment for him and it took him most of the year just to get used to it.  He met the benchmarks at the end of the year, but just barely and I’d always worried about him in first grade.

His first grade teacher, Mrs. M., is one of my favorite people at school.  She’s just one of those people who you know is there because she loves children and molding their futures through learning.  We often chat about Alex and she always tells me how wonderful he’s doing.  She had sent him to share his success with me.

After Alex read three or four pages and I was able to pick my jaw off the ground, I finally interrupted him.

“Alex, Wow!  You are such an amazing reader!” I smiled.

He nodded back.  Conversation was never his forte.

“How did you get to be such an awesome reader?” I asked, trying to prod the conversation along.

“My teacher!  My teacher showed me how!” He shouted.

“Oh you are so lucky, Mrs. M. is the best first grade teacher… go back to class, give her a big hug, and say ‘thank you’ to her,” I said.

“Uh-huh,” he replied walking away and shoving his book back in it’s bag.

Alex is going to be just fine and the next time I saw Mrs. M., I gave her a hug myself.