The good part about listening to so many young children read to me, recording and talking about their reading, is that I also get in touch with them again on a personal level. One little guy, J. read so far ahead of where he left off in first grade. He told me he kept reading this summer. (Hallelujah!)
He was smiling and taller. He’d been to Vietnam and the most exciting thing was that he got to ride through the city on the motorcycle with grandpa. And there was a lizard on his wall that looked almost the wall color. Right before he was going to sleep he noticed the lizard about an arm’s length away from his face.
“What did you do?” I asked.
“I grabbed him and took him outside,” he told me simply.
This was a way more confident child than I knew last year. I was hearing more language than in all my time working with him.
“What about food? I asked. “What was the best thing you got to eat?”
He smiled. “Watermelon.”
Those little conversations today were the best part of my day. Oh, and yes, having pulled pork on a little healthy tortilla for supper.