Dear Global Readaloud,
You may not know it but for the past 3 years we have had this quiet relationship that has been very enduring and important to me. I remember the day I first hear about you, it was about 2 1/2 years ago. I had just tripped into this world of Twitter and while lurking in a Nerdy Book Club chat someone mentioned the amazing book choices for GRA that year. I was quite fascinated by this idea of using a book to connect my students to the world. So I immediately went and checked you out and signed up that year to read “Out of my Mind.” That year really taught me the power of a book – my students and I were so taken with Melody’s story – we cheered for her, were mad on her behalf and cried with her. Not only did my class connect outside their classroom walls, inside we did too. The conversations we had really bonded us all. Even my parents commented on the power of that book that year. The connections my class made that year continued until long past the book ended. The teacher I connected with and I still talk two years later and it was because of you.
A year later in a new school and a new grade my journey with you continued. This time it would be a tiny China rabbit named Edward that would be the character that would start my journey. The funny thing was I really questioned you that year. How would my students, a class of rough and tumble soccer loving boys, connect to a rabbit who wore a velvet suit jacket. Again you proved me wrong, they loved Edward and the characters he met on his journey. Funny enough they made their own version of the Ziggy Azelea song about Edward “He’s so fancy….and he doesn’t know, all the place he will go…” You proved to me that even my littles as I liked to call them, could see the power of a book. The blog posts my kids wrote that year showed me that. By the end of it all, I loved Edward as much as they did. As well during our connections my students found out so much from those they talked to. It was another year of moments to look back, smile and remember.
This year, my third year in, was probably my most challenging. I was out of the classroom quite a bit during GRA. We had government exams and holidays that got in the way. Plus I made the mistake many make of making it not about the book, but about trying to do all these connections. I said yes to too many people, tried to juggle too many time zones and tried to take on too much. Please know it wasn’t your fault – I got caught up in things that I shouldn’t of. And yes, I could blame you because my skype didn’t work, because my students didn’t get connect to padlets because of tech issues but really was that your fault? No…not at all.
At the end of the day, Global Readaloud is what I make of it. You do not decide how my experience wil go, only I can do that. And more importantly I think I should remember that it is about the connection I make with my students to that book and that character that is really important. I think maybe I lost that along the way because hey I was connecting to classes around the globe and wasn’t that amazing of me. Not one of my best moments I know, but that was on me, not you.
So I hope you know that I understand that next year our relationship might change and I am okay with that. Change, while sometimes painful, is not a bad thing. While some may complain, I will only say that I look back on the memories I have from our time together and I smile. I look back at the things I’ve learned about my students, myself and I can only say thank you. Thank you for giving me all that you did and not asking anything in return other than to love the books as much as you do. I look forward to our future, whatever it may bring.