A love note to my students

I wore my “gratitude” bracelet today as I proctored our state test. And even though I occasionally wanted to whistle Rue’s song, I didn’t. I just did my job. I walked. I monitored. I walked. I monitored. I walked. . . you get the picture, I’m sure. Since I’m supposed to monitor without looking at or reading the test itself, I decided to closely read my students instead.  In the book Falling In Love with Close Reading, Kate Roberts and Christopher Lehmen remind us that we closely read what we love. (Read this post from Kate Roberts for a great perspective on this concept.)

So I closely read my students, who you must know, I already loved. I jotted down a love note to them on a my very own piece of scrap paper.

Dear Students,

I think I love you even more today.  You know this isn’t my favorite time of school, but right now I’m full of gratitude for you.

I love that I can tell you don’t want to be silent, and I am so thankful that you are silent anyway. I love how you whisper, “This is so suspenseful!” as I finish handing out scrap paper and start reading the directions.

I love how you roll your eyes, in a friendly way when I ask once again for any electronic devices. I love how you mouth the words to my directions as I read them. I love your twitchy legs, and your bored smiles, your hard work and even your not so hard work. (You – I see you’re finished after just a few minutes. You’re so bright and creative. I’m sorry you are having a hard time putting that all into a text dependent analysis.)

You all sit behind privacy screens, even after your work is done. I watch you fidget and you settle. I love that you chose to read Calvin & Hobbs, and you chose Lacrosse Magazine. You picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I love how many of you are reading Harry Potter books, Maze Runner, and Lord of the Rings. Everyone seems to have the perfect post-test choice. And I love the way some of you aren’t reading. Your heads are down. You’re done for now. That’s okay.

I love the way you stacked your  mints, and lined up your pencils. And then how you stack and line them again. And again. I love the way you put your book down, and pick it back up. I love that you ask for extra time, and I love that you don’t. I love that you stick your finger through your tissue to make a puppet. I love that you silently cheer when testing is done, and remain polite and silent as I read the directions to close your test booklets, even though you have already given your test to me.

We’re in this together, folks. Thanks for being such great people. I am lucky to spend my days with you.


Your Proctor Teacher

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