The adventures of reading a book with 5th grade boys has continued to be fulfilling. I look forward to the book club each week and ward off potential meetings that would interrupt it from happening like a superhero on a mission to save the planet. So far, I've been successful.
At the second meeting with the boys I was delighted to see they all returned. The gusto of which they returned was energizing to me. These kids don't want to miss the book club and were happy and smiling as they entered the room where we meet. In true 5th grade boy style I had to set some ground rules for behavior and they readily agreed it was for the best. Before I could began reading the book for the day I was told that one of the boys had checked out one of the books that we had discussed reading. When I questioned the student, he smiled wryly, and said that yes he had checked out the book. The satisfying piece for me was that this kid, who does not really get into ready, checked out a book. I check with him when I see him around campus to gauge how the book is going. He smiles every time!
When I began this book club the purpose was for the boys, and I truly feel they are getting positive reinforcement through the book club. However, I failed to recognize the power and positive affects this club would have on me. Once the time is up for the book club to return to class, some boys stay back to talk with me about the characters, some of the boys share books they're reading, and others ask if we're meeting again next week. The boys seek me out on Tuesdays, wanting to be sure they get their book club pass. During the day I find myself in conversations with the boys more easily and they often initiate the conversation in passing on the sidewalks, in the hallways, and in the cafeteria.
I am no longer only their Principal. We share a common bond, a book.