Sometimes, nay, ALL THE TIME, these kids amaze me!
This is my first year of teaching second grade. I began teaching preschool, then spent more than ten years in kindergarten, followed by about 14 in first grade (at least I’m going in order!!). And every time I changed grade levels, I was heartbroken to leave what I was sure was my favorite grade to teach. And then, each and every time, I began to actually teach that grade, and lo and behold, it was my new favorite!! And it was never more apparent that second grade is my current new favorite than when this happened:
We read “An Angel for Solomon Singer” by Cynthia Rylant as part of our study of realistic fiction. At first glance, it might seem a depressing story about a lonely older man, but there’s so much more to it than that. In it, he meets an waiter whose name is Angel – clearly a metaphor for one who rescues Solomon from his loneliness. BUT GET THIS! One sweet little girl said, after I’d read about half, “Oh, I get it. His name is Solomon – like SOLO MON, which is close to SOLO MAN and he’s alone, which is what solo is…” I NEARLY FELL OFF MY CHAIR and that is no exaggeration! I was staggered! Naturally, it led to a rich discussion on the names of characters, etc., but all the while we’re talking, I’m thinking, “Did this really just happen?” I couldn’t get over it. This girl is 8 years old and is analyzing text the way I did in college, when I discovered that Nathaniel Hawthorne used that same literary device in “The Scarlet Letter.”
Like I said, these kids amaze me. I like being amazed. Being amazed is really my favorite.