Slice of Life: My Smile for the Day

sols2I am a literacy coach at an elementary school.  My office is an inviting place with a comfy chair and books.  I have three tall bookcases, one medium one, and three small bookcases that line my room.  My door is open most of the time.  Children have learned that if it’s open, they can stop in and ask me a question.  It usually goes like this:

“Um, Mrs. Gensch, do you have a book that I can borrow?” to which I answer, “What kind of book are you interested in?”  From there, I try to locate a book that he/she might like.  The student leaves with a book and a smile on his/her face.

I have made it a point to invite several reluctant boy readers.  I figure if I can find a book that they are interested in, I might hook them into trying some other books.  Sneaky, aren’t I?  One such boy, Matt, stops in at least once a week.

Now Matt is a second grader.  He would rather be on a tractor or at wrestling club.  Reading is difficult for him and thus school is not in his quality world.  I had the privilege of working with him over the summer at summer school.  Matt rarely smiled.  He wasn’t depressed; just a kid who is very serious. Throughout this year, I would ask what he was reading.  I guess my interest took hold, because now Matt stops by at least once a week to show me the new book he has gotten from the library.  He often asks then, “Um, could I borrow a book?”  I smile.  Gladly.

Today Matt stopped by with two nonfiction books. As he sat in my comfy chair, his eyes roamed the room.  “Wow, Mrs. Gensch, you are the ruler of books!”  I started to laugh.

“What do you mean, ‘ruler of books’?” I asked.

“Just look, Mrs. Gensch.  There are books here and there and there and over there.  You are the ruler of books,” he said and then… smiled.  “Do you have a book about bears?” Matt added.

I smiled.  Matt made my day.  And yes, I did find him a nonfiction bear book, plus a reptile book and a transformer book.  He left my room filled with pleasure.

Thanks, Matt.  You made my day!


4 Responses to Slice of Life: My Smile for the Day

  1. Theresa says:

    The ruler of books – how cool is that! Students have a knack for brightening our days.

  2. Ruth says:

    And your Slice made my day. 🙂 I think Matt’s nickname for you is quite appropriate: Mary Helen: Ruler of Books!

    However, your first line is a bit of an understatement — your office is more than inviting; your chair is more than comfy; and there are more than just a few books. How about this line: “Sitting in Mary Helen’s office is like snuggling into your favorite chair, surrounded by towers holding more books than grains of sand on the beach.”

    Big :)! Thanks for sharing this slice from your day.
    Happy writing,

  3. blkdrama says:

    I second Ruth’s good feeling about your Slice. Sharing books, what could be better!

  4. Angela says:

    I too am a literacy coach. I love the Matt’s in my life.

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