Friday, February 5, 2016

Dr. Reynolds

Kim Reynolds is a Reading Recovery teacher.  An important job, that one:  Reading Recovery teachers work with first graders who tussle with the whole learning-to-read thing.   She’s on the front lines of catching reading trouble before it becomes a lifelong problem. 

Kim’s pretty awesome.  It’s fun to watch her with kids; she has a kind of magic.  She’s got a lovely voice and a sweeping smile; her students gaze at her in love and awe when they work together.  They get to see her every day for a half hour—time they spend focused on fiddling around around with letters and words and stories.  Over time, a transformation occurs.  Words and spellings begin to make sense.  Sentences connect.  Stories become understandable.   Confidence begins to build.  The grins change from tentative to triumphant.  Reading gets easier.  It turns into fun.

It’s pretty remarkable to watch.  It's important work.  Some of the most important work, if you ask me.

The kids must think so, too.  Last week, Kim was packing up after a session with one of her students.  She noticed the little girl looking intently at Kim’s stack of file folders. 

“Are those all your patients, Mrs. Reynolds?” she asked.

Kim smiled. 
How to answer?

“I’m not a doctor, but yes, you could say that those are my patients,” Kim answered. 

I’m glad she answered that way.  In a lot of ways, teachers guide the growth of a child’s mind just like a doctor guides the growth of the body.   And it makes me happy that kids might understand this. 

Go forth, Dr. Reynolds.   

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