My room now empty, and the excited Friday hum of dismissal having dissipated, I sank into my chair. The length of the week began to manifest in my bones, and I felt tired. I took a deep breath and blew it out.
But I couldn’t leave yet. There was one more thing to do.
I rose from my red, rolling office chair and retrieved Emma’s (not her real name) intervention binder. Emma is a student for whom I’ve been providing reading intervention this year. A sweet, soft-spoken girl, Emma works hard. She tries. Which I always admire, especially if struggle is a part of everyday life. Which it is for all my intervention students.
Earlier in the day, I had asked Emma to independently read a short Newsela text, take some notes, and craft a summary. Progress-monitoring we call it. We had been working on this for some time, she and I; I have been teaching her to do more synthesis work as a reader, focus less on cool facts, see larger concepts, stick details together- that kind of thing. Now, I felt anxious to read it. Had her summarizing improved? My gosh, I hoped so.
Opening her binder, I located the correct paper.
Central idea? Check. Multiple main ideas? Check. Text evidence? Check. Authorial choices? Check. She’s done it! I thought to myself. Quickly, I laid this new work next to her baseline assessment (where I had asked her to summarize). The difference… wow! I reached into the Friday air and pulled my fist down. A rare moment of teacher pride filled my being.
I suppose this is why we do this work.