Sunday, November 6, 2011

Great Teachers Come in All Sizes

            If you were to ask Noah today how old he is, he would answer you with convincing precision: "Six and a half."  Ages ago, when he had just turned six, he did something that surprised even his mother, Libby, who happens to be my daughter. 

            One evening as he jumped onto his bed with a book in hand and his older sister, Madeleine, next to him, Libby sat down beside the two for their regular evening story.  But this was to be no regular evening.  Noah took the book back from his mother, proclaiming, "I'll read to you tonight."  Libby humored him, remembering that he did recognize a few words, his own name among them, and that he could sound out a few others.  Hardly enough to read the book in question.  As Noah opened the book and began to read, first haltingly and then with more conviction, Libby sat stunned.  Where had this come from?  The answer came when Madeleine broke into a smile and finally began giggling.

            Libby remembered that throughout the summer on the days when she was busy with laundry or house cleaning, the two siblings would entertain themselves, often playing school downstairs.   But what she hadn't realized was that this was not merely play; this was serious stuff.   Madeleine, two years older than her brother, had made herself the teacher with Noah her only and willing pupil.

             Today, six months later, Noah is an avid reader, tackling beginning chapter books.  For example, he enjoys reading, "Our Haunted House," the chapter book that I posted on this blog several weeks ago, admittedly with some help from his favorite teacher.  

              Do you know some young teachers, either at home or in the classroom?  I'm wondering what makes that teaching take so well.

P.S. Here's a note I got recently from Noah that apparently went out to a number of people via the internet:


  1. And now Noah is my teacher - reading to me and teaching me about rocks and minerals - one of his favorite subjects! Nice post, Dad!

  2. My history teacher is my favorite teacher ever! Sure she's not a child, she's 23, but she has made such a difference in my school life. I think because she's younger then most teachers, she identifies with us so well. She's so funny and she really cares about us. Her assignments are fun and engaging. She has made me want to become a teacher, and I have never thought about becoming a teacher until I met her. She's the best by far, and I look forward to her class everyday.

  3. Lib, Thanks. Yes, we really can learn from the young and Noah, like his big sister, is a super teacher.
    Laney, what a wonderful tribute to your history teacher. I think she should read it. Can you let her know about my blog? Or may I? When great teachers are acknowledged they should know about it. Having been a teacher for 40 years I can tell you it really motivates. Thanks for visiting my blog. BTW, keep up the writing.

  4. Great post! My sister is two years older than I am, and I'm still learning from her. Now that my boys are moving up through school, I'm meeting so many wonderful teachers of all ages.


  5. It's not the size of the teacher, but the size of the heart of the teacher that determines their potential success. How awesome to have siblings learning together. I'm sure Madeleine reaped great rewards as well.

    A precious post. Thanks for the lasting smile.


  6. Jenny, thanks for visiting. You made me think of my older brother, by 3 years, whom I call frequently for info., advice, etc. He a wealth of information.
    Dean, I agree; it's the heart that matters. Now how do we develop that in children early on? Yes, Madeleine does reap great rewards from her role. Thanks.

  7. This is just precious. It reminds me of my children when they were younger. It is an exciting day when a child learns to read. It is even more exciting when it becomes an important part of his or her life.

    My first born was taught to read by me when I would read to him. I had no idea he was catching on. Then, at age four, he read something he saw in print. I didn't believe he could read it, so I took him to the library and found the first grade readers. Sure enough, he could read books he had never seen before. He was reading, really reading.