Friday, September 26, 2008

"I'm feeling like a bookworm!"

This week at Open House for the school, one of my co-teachers introduced herself to the parents by saying that she has two teenagers, so she understands what they are going through. I then introduced myself, and I got a chuckle from the audience when I started with the obvious: "You may all find this hard to believe, but I do not have any teenagers." (The parents got a kick out of this because they always comment on how young I look.) Anyway, a dad in the audience raised his hand and said, "Do you want mine??" and another interjected, "Yes you have 120 of them to deal with!!"

Yes, it's true...I do have 120 teenagers to deal with every single day. With that said, I hope you'll understand why my blog may be mostly devoted to them. Young mothers usually write about their own kids; I will be writing about my students.

I love them. They make me smile; they make me frustrated. I spend every day trying to teach them how to be good writers, good readers, and good people. Have I mentioned I love it?

This past week in class, we had "Summer Reading Week." This is when the students get into small groups and discuss the required books they read over the summer. They have 15 options of books (each English teacher picks one), and they have to read two...then they get to discuss those books with students in their class who also read them. It's a pretty cool little program, and I enjoy hearing teenagers debating about their books.

Well...I always like to "spice things up" and make class as exciting as possible, so I decided I would get a couple hundred gummy worms for "Summer Reading Week," and as they were discussing in their book groups, I walked around and said, "Would you like a bookworm?" or "Are you turning into bookworms over here?" and offered them a sour, tasty treat. It's amazing how teenagers GRIN at stuff like that. (With the exception of one kid who thought it was "too babyish," and I told him he was a "fun sucker.")

Anyway, the next day, I only had a couple of gummy worms left, and they were sitting in a container on my desk. As the kids were working, a boy named Carl--who is one of those class clowns who never does any homework and yet is rather endearing despite his total slackerness--suddenly spied the left over worms and announced, "Wow! I'm feeling like a bookworm today!" It was so random and unexpected, especially coming from him, that the whole class fell silent for a moment--and then burst into laughter.

Poor Carl, though, I didn't give him the last couple of gummy worms. (Mostly because I could tell he hadn't actually read either of the books he claims to have read this summer...)

Speaking of bookworms...

Books I read this summer:

Lovely Bones, My Sister's Keeper, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Briar Rose, Black and White, Every Student Can Succeed, Kite Runner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Into the Wild, Looking for Alaska

Books I am dying to read (but probably won't have time to until next summer):

A Thousand Splendid Sons, My Name is Asher Lev, The Road, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Glass Castle, The Poisonwood Bible, Speak, Tuesdays with Morrie, King Dork, Think for a Change, The Life of Pi, Princess Academy, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Any other suggestions?


  1. That's a very cute idea with the gummy worms! :)

  2. Poisonwood Bible and A Thousand Splendid Suns are also on my 'to read' list.

    My favorite reads over the last 6 months(ish) were The Secret Life of Bees, Mama Day and Life of Pi.

    I love the gummy worms idea!

  3. Did I tell you I read Kite Runner? Too intense for me. I cried for days. I don't think I should read A THousand Spendid Suns, I hear it is worse/better - you know what I mean. You are a great teacher.


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