On Friday afternoon, I took my enthusiastic team of four students to the district semi-finals. Clad in our matching navy shirts, they were eager to win.
They participated in the first two rounds, but didn't earn enough combined points to advance.
I stayed with them for both rounds, one round acting as a time keeper and the other as the host. Both our principal and librarian showed up, which was wonderful for my kiddos to feel supported.
My students lost gracefully and displayed wonderful sportsmen-like conduct, which was heartwarming to see. I congratulated the winning team and had the audience clap for the effort of both teams. There were some disrespectful parents, which was a tad frustrating. Of course each school and family goes in wanting their child to be successful. But not every team can win. Every team, however, can conduct themselves with dignity and grace.
I wish those parents were more focused on the true purpose of the event: building enthusiasm for reading.
My team did their best but most importantly, they had fun. They did the competition completely on their own but were supported the whole time. They read some great books, strengthened friendships, and enjoyed quizzing each other about the novels.
One of the boys was inexplicably thrilled when I told him that there isn't just one sequel to The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, but four. I know what his summer plans will be--reading. Lots of reading.
That's a wonderful thing.