“Are you serious? You’re not giving us homework?” M. looked at me with a mix of skepticism and joy.
“Nope, no homework. The only thing I am going to ask you to do the next two weeks is read.” I answered scanning the room.
“I can do that.”
I was optimistic that my plan was going to work!
“So, we are going to spend the next 15 minutes or so shopping for books.”
“What?” M. quick to jump in (as he does each and every day!
“Yes, we are going to shop for books in our classroom library.”
“Then what? It’s not like we can take them all home?” he jumped in.
“Why not?” I asked.
He sat… silent. Something very new for him (and me!).
“My mom said she would take us to Barnes and Noble this weekend to buy books.”
“OK, I said, “but why don’t you bring some so maybe mom doesn’t have to buy new ones. I am sure mom could use that money for other things right now.”
They all walked the room. Lifting books… running to their tables to build their pile.
“Is there a limit?” “Have you read this?” “I wonder if she’ll let us bring all three books from the trilogy.” “I can’t believe we can take as many as we want.” “I’m going to bring some of the March Madness books.” “Has anyone seen White Bird?” “Can we borrow from the social issue book club cart?”
The excitement lasted for well over 20 minutes. They slowly settled at their seats with their books and gradually… ever so gradually… the room became silent. They settled in to start their books.
As we walked into the hallway for dismissal, M.’s bus was called. He dragged his backpack on the rug. His friend looked at him oddly.
“Dude, what are you doing? What do you have in there? We didn’t have to bring anything home for homework,” his friend said as they started down the hallway.
“Yeah, I know… but Mrs. Bruno let us take as many books home as we wanted. I loaded up!”
And that is how I ended my very challenging week. That is a victory in my book.