The fact of the matter is .. if a public or private school teacher puts his/her blood, sweat and tears into creating the free reading environment that enhances a student's desire to read, it doesn't mean that the teachers in following years will do the same. And that teacher has no choice but to LET GO and hope that what was accomplished that one year will stick.
Donalyn Miller says, in the final chapter, "Instilling lifelong reading habits in my students is like trying to hold the ocean back with a broom, a futile endeavor, if they are going to go right back to the same controlling environment they had before my class." How sad.
Thankfully, as a homeschool parent, I don't have to worry about that situation. If I am able to accomplish a free reading environment sufficient enough to get my students excited about reading, that is something that I can continue to build on year after year.
The greatest thing I gained from this chapter, that spoke to me directly, was when Ms. Miller talks about a teacher's "need" to micromanage "every aspect of reading for students" so that we can "call what we are doing 'teaching'".
A phrase I think I will type up and adhere to the front of my binder is ...
There is a marked difference between managing a classroom and controlling it.
(I can manage my classroom without dictating all thought and decision making for my students.)
I definitely need to let go of my students at times and let them learn. I am just thankful that I don't have to let them go into the hands of another teacher who does not share my philosophies of teaching.