Last week I bumped into David, a little guy from last year, in the hallway. He was excited to see me and asked if I might pop by to hear some of his first grade writing. Well, after coordinating a good time with his teacher, today I came for my visit.
Now Martin, who was also in my class last year, was also in this first grade class, so he came running over when I walked in too. The two boys got their writing folders and shared almost all of the pieces they’d written.
David was a strong writer in kindergarten, so his growth and skills didn’t surprise me, but Martin always struggled. Getting more than a word or two was tricky for him so his writing really pleased me.
His stories were still simple (hey, it’s only first grade) and his handwriting was still hard to read, but he was writing… I mean really writing – nine or ten sentences a piece… a huge accomplishment. I was just beaming with pride as Martin shared piece after piece in his writing folder. I’m pretty sure he could tell as he sat close and tried (unsuccessfully) to crawl into my lap as he used to in kindergarten (also unsuccessfully).
When I got up to leave, I told both boys they should really thank their first grade teacher for helping them learn so much. They stood up, marched over, politely interrupted her and did just that. I could tell she was taken aback and got a little choked up… kids really need to thank their teachers more often.
As I walked back to meet my own sprouts after lunch, I was filled with joy. Teaching can do that to you.