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Today was our second day of selecting books for #Room407 students to read. And I knew that today. . .the very LAST day of junior year was going to be most difficult for two students in particular. Let me have a couple of tweets to tell you about these two friends. . .
These two have been inseparable all year. I would never see one without the other near or nearby. I've also known that one of these friends would be facing a difficulty decision at the end of the year in regard to staying at our school or moving away to be with her family.
The bond between these two is something you might read in a novel with a symbiotic relationship motif. So inseparable were these two, I started to call them "Twinkies" (coming two to a pack and sometimes sticking together). What book could I ever pick for them singularly?
I didn't pick one book. I picked pair-share titles for these two. While the other students were reading the books chosen for them, this pair of friends noted something a little bit different about the books selected for them to read. Their book wouldn't work without a partner.
"Twinkie 1" was holding Herve Tullet's PRESS HERE. "Twinkie 2" was holding Herve Tullet's LET'S PLAY. And once they caught on, the sniffles and tears were soon replaced with giggles and page turns. Have you ever seen a teenager read this joyously? I have.
In our debrief, while the students told me why they thought I had selected their particular book, I got to debrief with the pair of friends. I told them something I knew to be true of the right book and the right friend: you name the distance and a book will always be a bridge.
Opening a book flat I should them to hands spread apart with a book bridging both palms. I told them that I have many friends that I only see but once a year. I won't list them here. You know who you are. Thank you. I love you. Books hold us close and together when we are apart.
I also told them that one book would probably not be enough. But, they are connectable. One book lies upon another end for end. A shared trailway upon which we walk with our words as we marvel at a book's ability to cover the space the between us. The worn pages now like a path.
The rigor of the room for these two students, readers, friends was in that affective place. Emotional labor of coming to a place where a goodbye was no longer a possibility but a now. I'm glad I could be there for that last class together. We three sharing a book and a laugh.
But. . .what if. . .what if I had stuck to my own reading level? Worse, my own lane as a secondary English Language Arts teacher? I might never have experienced the joy of a Tullet book (I have them all in #Room407). And I wouldn't have seen their coming to this same joy today.
Dear Twinkies: While your hearts feel like they're breaking, they're really experiencing the stretch of a bonding which will be tested by a distance both real and one not yet realized. Remember, within your shared narrative, there is room for more and more stories. Share them.
@threadreaderapp Please unroll me so I can share this thread with my friends, far and near.
This should read "showed" them "two". . .stoopid hooves. Makes it hard to type.
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