According to Goodreads, I started this book on September 3rd, and it is now October 16th. I would read a few chapters, and then another book would find its way on a higher rung of the To-Be-Read ladder, leaving Ms. Bixby back on the nightstand.
I had read the reviews from other teachers, and I knew this was my kind of book - heart fiction, the books I devour. I even learned the author was from my home state of Indiana.
But the book still sat on the nightstand...until last night.
I decided to give it another try, and this time, I could not put it down.
I read to page 232.
And I stopped.
And I cried.
"We all have moments when we think nobody really sees us. When we feel like we have to act out or be somebody else just to get noticed. But somebody notices, Topher. Somebody sees. Somebody out there thinks you are the greatest thing in the whole world. Don't ever think you're not good enough."
I fear how this book is going to end. And a part of me doesn't want it to end. But I stopped because I want to be Ms. Bixby. I want to be one of the good ones.
I thought about those students who sit in my classroom day after day and feel unnoticed or act out in order to "be seen." I want to see them, really see them, maybe for the very first time. In my mind I went through the roster of former students, and I saw Steve and Topher and Brand looking back at me. I want to think I made a difference, but I aways question, "Was it enough?"
My heart has been altered by reading this book, which is one of the reasons why I read. I have always believed in the power of relationships. When I read a book about a teacher like Ms. Bixby, it reminds me of why I became a teacher in the first place...
and all that I aspire to be.
Thank you John David Anderson.