Yesterday, I taught the perfect lesson and I want to tell you about it.
Typically, John pops into the office talking about baseball or basketball or swimming or what he ate for dinner last night. After a quick life catch up, we get to work and John is diligent. He takes things slowly and thinks through the spelling rules he has learned.
Yesterday was no different, he settled in to his seat, ready to get to work. But unlike most days, I wasn’t swiveling around to grab materials or sharpen pencils. I hadn’t even opened the teacher manual. I just sat in front of an empty desk across from John and smiled. He said, “what?” and I replied, “John, you’ve been working with me for about a year now and I have to say, I’m impressed with how much you have grown. I have some very exciting news for you.” He perks up. “Today, you are going to learn how to read two syllable words. I’m going to teach you the rules!” I held my hand up for a high five. He looked up and me, gave me a big ole high five and got to work.
Yesterday, I watched John confidently read two syllable words.
I knew he was excited, but I was shocked to see him strut into my office today without mentioning baseball, the Chicago Bulls, or chicken nuggets. Instead, he sat down and said, “Ms. Lydia, today I explained syllable division rules to my teacher and guess what! She asked me to explain it to the entire class!!”
See, yesterday, I watched John read two syllable words accurately, something he’s never been able to do before. And today, John got to stand in front of his class and show them how to attack unknown multisyllabic words. He got to be the reading expert for the first time.
This lesson was perfect because it rippled. John was able to carry what he learned forward as a more confident reader and because of his confidence, he shared his knowledge with others.