We had visitors in our classroom again today as some fantastic educators had traveled to be with us (shout out to West Dubuque). As always, they had a few moments to speak to the people that prompted their visit in the first place; our students, who with their candor, wisdom, and humor always have great things to share.
They asked, “Why do you think it matters that Mrs. Ripp reads children’s books?” I was eager to hear their answers.
I thought they would say that it mattered because I could recommend great books. They did.
I thought they would say that it mattered because there was a lot of great books in here to choose from. They did.
I thought they would say that it mattered because it made it easier for them to find a new book. They did.
But what I hadn’t expected was this…
It matters because it shows that she cares about her job.
It matters because it shows that she cares about reading.
It matters because it shows that she cares about us…
Let that sink in. That while we know that reading children’s books matters for so many reasons, this was the biggest one of all.
For all of my students, me reading a book and being able to bring it into class shows them that I care about them as people. As kids who read and who have meaningful reading experiences. That I am willing to dedicate my time away from our classroom to something that will hopefully matter to them shows that I mean every word when I say I love my job, I am grateful to be your teacher.
We worry so much about whether or not kids know that they matter. Whether they know that we care about them. We come up with elaborate ideas to show them how much we appreciate them and sometimes forget about the small things. That care comes in small packages. That caring sometimes comes in the shape of a book read and discussed.
So for every book I purchase, for every dollar spent, I will continue to tell our students that I love my job, that I love being a teacher for them, that reading matters and that this very book I read is my way of reminding them that I care.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.