Good Words: Looking Closer

Yesterday, 2:15 pm:

I’m standing in front of thirty sixth graders, pacing the floor with a novel in my hands, and I feel a lump starting to form in my throat.  The words keep jumping off the page and out of my mouth but I’m afraid I might cry.  I can’t cry, I can’t cry, I can’t cry, I chant inwardly…


Honestly, before I had children I could read through anything like I would a recipe book.  Now, if I detect even a whiff of emotion, my body has no choice.  The tear ducts, the throat; they all go on auto-pilot cry mode.  It’s rather inconvenient in front of a full class.  These words by Cynthia Lord in Rules, are not the ones that made me teary, but I did interrupt myself when I came across them.  I stopped, put the book down, and wrote the first line on the whiteboard….and then kept on reading.

Looking closer can make something beautiful…Sometimes I can change how I feel about something by drawing it.  Drawing makes me find the curves, the shadows…and the beautiful parts.  I solved my hating snakes by drawing their scales, tiny and silvery, overlapping and overlapping, until all I saw was how perfect they were.”

I’ve only read the first two chapters, but I can tell you that thirty 11 year-olds were captivated by it for at least 1 hour yesterday.

*My own end of the week tradition: words in song or story that move me in some way.  I might type my very favourite parts in bold text, and I’ll always try to post a link below the quote so you can get more if you want it. Enjoy!


7 thoughts on “Good Words: Looking Closer

  1. Those kids are very lucky to have you as their teacher, Tricia! (P.s. Sounds like a big class… Do you have them all day? If so, bon courage!)

  2. I just got caught up on your blog…I am pretty sure your students will remember something about their Grade 6 teacher!!! They are very fortunate to have you! You have passion for those kids like your Mom does for her students! Erika

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