Last week a friend in my classroom tried taking her book to morning recess.  I asked what she was doing with her book…the conversation went something like this:

Me: What do you have under your jacket?

Friend: Nothing.  (Friend is a TERRIBLE liar.)

Me: Are you sure?  Let me see inside your coat.

Friend.  OK. Fine.  It’s my book, Ms. Hays!  I need to read it!

Me: Nope.  No. You. Don’t.  Put it away.  We need to run and play and swing and chase at recess today.

Friend unwillingly puts book back at her table.  We run and play and swing and chase at recess.


I have morning recess duty daily.  Afternoon recess duty is handled by 2 other team members.  Sure enough when I picked my friend up from afternoon recess, she had taken her book to recess and had spent the time reading.

At that point I realized I was indeed the worst. teacher. ever. All she wanted to do was read her book–and have some time to herself. Geez. Why didn’t I realize this in the morning? It took me like 3 days to process this event.  All she wanted to do is read. As an avid reader, I feel her pain. As a person who will read over doing anything else, I feel her pain. As a person who has used reading to escape, I feel her pain. As person who realized reading recharges my battery, I feel her pain. Why didn’t I just let her read at recess that day?


My friends are first graders.  As a mom and a teacher, I am dying to help kids love books as much as I love books. Why would I tell a friend they can’t read during recess?

Because grown-ups make mistakes.




7 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. Oh, I am a reader, too! My favorite time of day is when I can sneak in a few minutes with a good book in between all the other stuff we have to do. It’s the best way for me to unwind and relax. I love this!

  2. Awww! I know exactly what you mean, though you expressed it better than I ever could! I always get a lump in my throat when I have to tell a 7th grader to close his book and pay attention to the lesson. Grownups do make mistakes; but sometimes we avid readers do need to run, and jump, and chase, and listen. Don’t despair!!!!

  3. Amen! You hit it right on the head with that final line. Sometimes we DO make mistakes. But the important thing is that we are reflective and think about the lesson it taught us–Just like you did in today’s slice!

    Welcome to the #SOL16 challenge. I look forward to reading more from you!

  4. You made a call – not a mistake. You realize that her little first grade body needs exercise – as we all do. Should she read at recess, that’s your call, but don’t beat yourself up over the decision you make – daily…. Thank you for a beautiful, heartfelt slice.

  5. It is hard to tell someone to pit a book away, but it is also important to get out and socialize. In trying to form well rounded students we do sometimes make mistakes. Welcome the the March Challenge. I look forward to reading your posts throughout the month.

  6. My friends are 3rd graders and I’ll tell them, “I hate the next thing I’m going to say – Stop reading….” !! If I could, I’d let them read ALL day long!! Don’t beat yourself up too much – you gave a good reason WHY you were making your suggesting – outside play is important too!! I love how you keep the reader wondering about your “friend” and not until the end is it revealed it is a 1st grader!! Looking forward to reading further honest reflections all month long. Welcome to Slicing!!

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