Friday, April 23, 2010

The Right Book For The Right Person

I deal with this every now and then: finding a book for a student who doesn't like reading. Last year, it was Jacinta and a Girlfriend Fiction Book. As it happens, she read two books, willingly, that term. Perhaps she hasn't read any more since then, but you never know. One of the books was my crime book, Crime Time.

After parent-teacher night this time, a year 10 girl came to see me. She told me, lip quivering, that she was under orders to read more. She had come to - shudder! - borrow a book.

I asked her, first, what she had last read and enjoyed, which I usually do to help me.

"I've never read a book in my life!" she wailed. "No, Miss, it's true! Well, except for primary school..."

And then she muttered that, actually, she had read something that morning, during her teacher's absence from Literacy class, that she wouldn't mind borrowing, if she had to read a book.

Guess what it was?

Crime Time: Australians behaving badly. :-)

Well, it has done very well in libraries. School libraries especially. I am very flattered to know that a girl who avoids reading is willing to read my book.

Pity bookshops didn't know how to display and promote it.

Reflective Journal again!

The thing is, you almost never see the parents you need to see. I do recall last year when one mother did turn up and I supplied her with a box of tissues as she heard from her daughter's teachers what the problems were.

The other night, we had interim report parent-teacher interviews. This works as follows: all the class's teachers have to tick boxes to say whether or not the student is up to date, is doing everything they should be doing, is co-operative, etc. Any student who gets more than a certain number of "no" responses or "sometimes" is asked to come in. Most of my class got those messages. The ones who really needed to come in, didn't, as usual - which, I guess, is why the kids are the way they are.

On the other end, I had a visit from a student and parent who didn't have to come. The boy's father suggested that maybe he needed something more challenging - and I told him, to his surprise, that his son had had the chance to do this in a recent assignment that was designed to give all students an opportunity to work at their own level, but had chosen the easier options!

It should be interesting to see what happens next time i hand out an assignment.