This past summer, when I was at the Teacher’s College Reading Institute, I kept hearing about this book called The Help. A few weeks ago, I finally borrowed the book from my friend and started reading it. I didn’t really know what the book was about, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I was drawn into the world of Skeeter, Minny & Aibileen. I was so curious to find out what would happen to them as they started this incredibly journey of writing their story.
As a writing teacher, I was drawn into this story because these women were developing a voice, power and freedom by sharing their stories. I loved how Aibileen wrote her stories herself and even her prayers. I loved that she found her voice through her writing. It made me think about my students, and how I want them to find their voice through their writing. I want them to see that their writing can have power, it can influence others and can be a valuable tool for the rest of their lives.
Well, the other day, I got onto my flight for Hong Kong with my friend and coworker, who happened to be reading The Help! We both brought the book with us on our trip. We had become unexpected reading partners. It was pretty exciting because now I could talk to her about the book. Also, I started to think about how I would share with my students that even adults can have reading partners. One of the important nuggets I gained from the Teacher’s College Reading Institute was that we need to be “mentor” readers for our students.
What are some ways you are a “mentor” reader for your students?
Did anyone else read The Help? What was your favorite part?