Thursday, December 17, 2015

Haiku #17

This is not the group I wrote about, it's three first grade readers, two that are in intervention groups, one that is the top reader in the class, poring over Mo Willems. I'll let you decide who is who. 


Watching heads bent together
giggling, I wonder when
children became data points?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2015


This morning's haiku actually started with a free write.

Somehow they have become data points.
Dots below an aim line.
Not children.
I work as an interventionist.
That means that pretty much every reader I work with
is below grade level.
There is a lot of pressure to make
more than one years growth.
We need to make 1.5
Mostly I try not to think about that.
I just teach reading.

But lately
I have been thinking about it.
Taking running records
counting their sight words.
And somehow the joy in watching kids learn to read
has been replaced by tense knots
that start in my shoulders and run
all the way up the back of my neck.

Yesterday I decided that had to change.
Only 2 of the 5 readers in my second grade group
were at school
on this snowy winter post snow day day.
I had lesson plans
was all ready to teach
yet another lesson
on unknown word strategies
and the -ed suffix.
Sight words for review-
have, come, some, said.
New word was.

But I didn't do any of that.
One of my readers
Brought her Mo Willems book to group.
I asked if she would rather read that.
And we did.
They did readers' theater.
A. was piggie.
D was Gerald
And I was the squirrel.
We read two books.
Giggled over Mo Willems illustrations.

And then I let D teach A, who has missed a week with strep throat
how to read the last book we had learned.
And she decided she should take a running record
and a relaxed
and forgot strategies
and just read
and did a darn good job.
and I wondered
How have I managed to forget
They are not data points.
Dots below an aim line.
They are children.

And they deserve to be treated like that.
Every. single. day.


Ramona said...

Love the haiku and your free write! What a blessed day you had with those two readers.

Nanc said...

Love the need to pick who is who, because you know, like I know, they are all readers! You are a poet Carol, and a darn good writer of free verse. Your words come alive when I read them. xo nanc

Mary Lee said...

So powerful. So important. We all need to stop and remember what's REALLY important!!

Carol Varsalona said...

When joy is "replaced by tense knots" the angst builds. Carol, you captured the angst in both pieces. The image of the children reading is precious and warms my reading specialist's heart.