I had envisioned being able to share with you some of the dreams on my freshmen’s lists. However, Monday we had a lock down drill smack in the middle of block two, altering our plans. Then yesterday we had a fog delay, shrinking class minutes by half. It reminds me how we are constantly determining importance and the way we will use our minutes.
My current priority is encouraging students to enjoy reading books of their choice. So I’ve been giving them lots of access to books, instruction surrounding metacognition, and time to read. I’ve also been reading aloud and modeling my thinking voice. The read aloud is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Are you familiar with this book? I chose it because of the poignant topic, the superior craft, and because it is among the most-swiped-books from my classroom library.
So what does all of this have to do with Chasing Dreams and Nicholas Sparks? I suppose it is because he inspired me to make choices which lead to meaningful outcomes. He shared that he is an avid reader — reading around 200 books a year. Only he doesn’t just read them, he thinks about what each writer does well, as well as what they do poorly. He attributes all of this reading to his success as a writer. I hope my students experience this reading and writing connection too.
He also said, “I was happy, but I wasn’t chasing anything.” My One Little Word for 2009 is delight. I’ve been thinking about this alongside Sparks’ assertion of the importance of chasing big dreams. I think part of living a delightful life is chasing something big, something meaningful.
For me, this means remembering my dreams and making plans to chase them step by step. As a teacher, this means, intentionally using each precious minute of class time to help my students move closer to becoming stronger readers and writers. I dream for them to experience the power of living a richly literate life.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.