One of the things I love to donate to our school carnival is a Teacher Tuck-In. I got the idea years ago from Joan Moser, and like any good teacher, stole it for myself.
The idea is that the winner of the auction or raffle, whichever the case may be, receives a home visit from me, in my pajamas, with cocoa, cookies, and good books in hand. After a snack, we curl up for bedtime stories (which I leave with the family when we are done). It is ridiculously fun.
It is usually won by a beloved first or second grader, but this year a former student slipped her raffle tickets into my Teacher Tuck-In drawing, hoping to win. Much to her surprise and mine, her name was drawn.
I laughed when her mom called to figure out a time that would work for both of us. We had to work around soccer and driver's ed!
Realizing my favorite picture books weren’t going to work this time, I headed to Barnes and Noble for a couple of my favorite chapter books.
When the day arrived, it was uncharacteristically warm (90 degrees and sunny instead of cold and rainy), so cocoa wouldn’t do. We started with ice cream bars, a great catching-up visit, and then curled up on the couch to read the first chapter of both of the books I had brought. What fun.
The point is that reading aloud is magic. So no matter how busy we are, no matter what classroom pressures and time constraints we face, we must make reading aloud to our students one of our priorities. It has the power to turn ordinary children into book lovers. It is so magical, in fact, that our students may still want to hear us read years after they have left our classrooms.