Who can name just one??? I know I can't.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of GREAT children's books out there, and it would be almost impossible to try and narrow it down to one.
Wouldn't you agree?
However, WHAT IF someone asked you ... "If you could read ONLY ONE book to your students... what would it be?"
Hmmmm. Tough question, Mark... but I'll play you're game...
Well, there's always "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White (is what I would immediately think of).
Or, you could go with "The Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle (for some of the younger folks)... what a classic, wouldn't you agree?
I'm partial to: "The Tortoise and the Hare" an Aesop's Fable.
What??? You might ask.
Why THAT story? There are hundreds of other highly qualified candidates to take it's place as "the one book to read to your students."
Well, the reason is very simple actually:
We live in a fast paced society. "Gimme this, gimme that... and I want it now!"
"What do you mean the weather page won't load? I need to know if it's
going to rain.... NOW!"
"Do you want to Super Size that, sir?"
"How many sugars do you take in your coffee?"
"Hurry up, now ... so we can go wait in line."
These are just a few examples I thought of just sitting here that we as ADULTS go through.... but really think about how our society has put our kids in "hyper-mode" too! Maddening if you ask me.
We as teachers need to take the "bull by the horns" and say... "Whoa, slow down everyone. Stop and smell the roses." (Instead of racing to a finish line that might not even exist).
THAT'S why I would read the classic story about a tortoise (who gets made fun of for going slow... yet methodical) versus the super fast hare (who jets out of the gate looking for a quick victory).
We all know the ending of the story... but why? WHY is it so important of a story?
Do you REALLY want to be like a tortoise as a teacher? I know sometimes I personally get into that kind of "hare" mode... "Let's go, go, go..." , but then I take a deep breath and think back to what the book is all about.
The morale of the story is:
"Slow and steady wins the race." (We've all heard it before... but do YOU believe it?)
Therefore, I think it's important that we all start the school year off in this frame of mind.
And then stick to it ALL year.
What are you in a hurry for? Start the year off slow and methodical, and then pick up the pace towards the end of the year, without really even trying.
Well, for one... stop and get to know your students lives vs. their test scores. Also, talk to them about their vacations vs. their homework. You could always discuss with them what they do on the weekends vs. grading papers.
Believe me. You won't regret it ... and your students will prosper because of it.
Just ask the tortoise.