Saturday, August 28, 2004

Half and Hour of Heaven

Weekend Assignment #21: School Daze

Fifth grade, Mrs. Sturgis's room, reading. Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 1 PM.

Ten is a wonderful age, we have it all together then. A time when we truly become who we are going to be, pause, then move on to the roller coaster ride of adolescence.  Reading.  Mrs. Sturgis, I am getting there.

Half and hour of wonder.  Three times a week for half an hour of reading class, instead of assignments out of a dry textbook, vocabulary lists and pop quizzes, my teacher, Mrs. Sturgis sat in a straight backed wooden chair in front of her desk, opened a book and read aloud. In those thirty minute sessions of wonder, I searched for golden tickets and visited a magical Chocolate Factory, listened to The Trumpet of the Swan and cried my eyes out over the loss of a hunting dog who was more of a friend in Where the Red Fern Grows.  Because she was a great teacher, those reading sessions were not just entertainment.  At the end of each book Mrs. Sturgis asked us to think about the ideas that the author introduced in the book and how they used the setting, characters and writing style to bring those ideas to life.  I was a reader before those sessions, after, I understood written words are a doorway to places that I would never be able to see and an introduction to people and ideas that I was not likely to encounter any other way.

Thirty-three years later, I still remember the sound of her voice, think about the books she read to a class of fifth graders and ride the magic carpet of written words.

2 comments:

oceanmrc said...

GREAT entry!  Thanks for visiting mine!  I know I've been here before, but I'm a  regular now.

sdoscher458 said...

VEry nice entry, you make me feel like I was sitting there hearing your teacher too. thanks.....Sandi