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Making Magic

We were ten minutes late for everything yesterday. During a lesson on prefixes there was mass confusion and during a goals setting lesson there were glazed eyes. Our math lesson ran long so there was no time for social studies. But balancing out all those frustrations was a simple moment of magic.

During our first real attempt at independent reading I sat down on the rug with my five non-speakers. I told them we were going to make a book together, and I watched their faces light up. Each student told me one thing they liked, I translated it to English and recorded it on an index card. Then each student got to illustrate their sentence. For a brief part of the day they weren’t confused. They were excited and engaged.

It was a simple lesson, taken from a colleague, but it was the best part of my day. It was the kind of “ah ha” moment that embodies the thrill of teaching. I’m hoping in my fourth year of teaching I can make these moments a daily occurrence.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.