Giving Thanks – Miles and “The Wild Robot”

Today I finished reading aloud to Miles, “The Wild Robot.”  I was a bit choked up.  Miles and his sister Claire (also a former student) were too.  This was the best Thanksgiving, real giving that truly matters.

For bloggers who don’t know Miles, he was my preschool student last year.  Over the summer he had a serious brain injury, had emergency surgery in Boston… what could I do to help?  He needed to rest his brain, so I started reading to him, every week.  It was wonderful.  Miles could rest and become ‘lost’ in a terrific adventure story.

Our reading together continued every week, even after his healing was going strong.  We had to finish the book!  More importantly, we had established a ‘tradition’, a weekly routine.  Tuesday afternoons were special, from September through November.

And sadly, today was the last day.  The children gave me a book, and most importantly, words – messages of thanks, priceless words.  Aren’t words true treasures?  They stick with you forever.  Words from a book, and words from a child are the greatest gift of all.

Thank you, Miles.  I was sad when it was done, too.

Thank you, Claire.  I love your little book!

“Once upon a time, there was a very special girl named Jennie.  She was a great reader and came over once a week to read to the family.”

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with giving and reflecting on what is important.  The little things are really the big things.

Happy Thanksgiving,


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in chapter reading, children's books, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Inspiration, reading aloud, reading aloud, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Giving Thanks – Miles and “The Wild Robot”

  1. willedare says:

    Jennie! Your life is an ongoing inspiration to the rest of us! What a dear ritual you established with this boy and his family… which has now come to an end. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. I am always happy to be reminded that the little things are the big things…

  2. beetleypete says:

    No better reward for your kindness, Jennie. Those kids touched your heart, and ours too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Opher says:

    That’s a real big thing Jennie!!

  4. Such wonderful and memorable times of reading together, Jennie!

  5. Darlene says:

    That was so sweet of the children. It brought tears to my eyes. The children will never forget this kindness. You are so right, the little things are really the big things.

  6. Alice Collins says:

    What lovely tributes, (through my tears!). You are the BEST!!

  7. What a heartwarming post for the day before Thanksgiving. I’ll bet the parents of the Aqua Roomers are thankful every day for Miss Jennie.

  8. Wonderful done, Jennie! Thank you for your kindness. That is real Thanksgiving celebrations. Sending blessings to Miles,and hope he will be back soon. Michael

  9. D. Metzke says:

    That’s awesome! No pressure, but you know there’s a sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes. 😉

  10. Fabulous post today, Jennie. Such a heartwarmer. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  11. what a great way to provide help and caring to the family and especially Miles. I am sure it meant more to you than they will ever realize. It was a time for them all to feel a bit more normal. Sitting down listening to a story, interacting with a caring friend and just being kids. A gift that kept on giving

  12. Pingback: Giving Thanks – Miles and “The Wild Robot” | A Teacher’s Reflections – First Night Design

  13. “The last day…” – the day before Thanksgiving MMXX – I’m joining Miles and his family in a Thanksgiving shout out for healing growth and to you for being a part of that miracle.

  14. This is so heartwarming and wonderful! I’m so glad Miles is doing so well, and am sad for him too that the story ended. I know how much I am sad when a good book ends! 😀 Hopefully, it won’t be long before you have another opportunity to read to him again…only for a happier reason next time. Happy Thanksgiving, Jennie!

  15. quiall says:

    It is special times and special people that will be remembered.

  16. CarolCooks2 says:

    The reading may have ended for now but I am sure Miles will have another opportunity to be read to by you once he is fully better…You really are a caring teacher a truly lovely story …Happy Thanksgiving, Jennie 🙂 xx

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    More special connections that will last a lifetime. Someday, Miles and Claire will remember their special teacher and read to another child because of times like this. I’m not saying that to be nice—I really believe it. Well done, as always. I’m so glad that Miles is doing better. I like Claire’s special message at the bottom.

    • Jennie says:

      I know what you mean. I think these are ‘the’ moments, and I think Miles and Claire will remember. Claire wants to read the book on her own. She’s in third grade. When I told them I was giving them the book and the sequel, Claire was over the moon. Miles was excited. They want to know what happens to Roz!! Yes, Claire’s tiny book is precious! I just feel so lucky to be there and do something that is important.

  18. Jennie, you are an angel.

  19. Ellen Hawley says:

    Beautiful. You have much to be thankful for. And I’m grateful to have read this today.

  20. olganm says:

    So lovely! Thanks for sharing such and inspiring and heart-warming personal story. ♥

  21. We have to much to be thankful for. Treasures, indeed! Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving, Jennie.

  22. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for this wonderful post!

  23. Dan Antion says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Jennie – You are the best.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I love that you were able to meet his need with the gift of your own self. I marvel at how often it works that way. Great job.

  25. Ah, Jennie, what a wonderful gift you gave Miles and his whole family. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.

  26. Jas krish says:

    Nothing matters more and us better than reaching out to the one who is in need …in their crisis…
    Stay blessed 🙏😇

  27. How lovely, Jennie. You are such a generous and kind soul. Thanks for sharing this story. ❤

  28. Dear Jennie.. I have said it before, but I will say it again.. You dear Jennie are a true Earth Angel..
    And what better way to share with us that Gratitude, as you give service constantly to others.. And what you sow dear friend. is truly what you reap… The love you give out, is shown in so many of your little angels who share their love right back.. And Miles what a beautiful little boy.. May healing continue to surround him and his family..
    This post brought me to tears, as many of your do Jennie.. Sending Love and Blessings Jennie.. I hope your Thanksgiving was perfect in every way..
    May your weekend be just as beautiful ❤ 🙏💖
    Stay Blessed.. ❤

  29. That sounds like the best Thanksgiving-time ever, Jennie. Hugs on the wing.

  30. Southpawpoet says:

    What a beautiful post. I am always lifted when I hear stories of human kindness. And I agree- words are treasures! Whether it’s a famous quote that resonated, the innocence of children, or advice from grandma.

  31. dgkaye says:

    Precious moments. ❤

  32. That’s great, that must have played great role in his recovery

  33. Norah says:

    A heartwarming real story. Thank you, Jennie. The world needs more people like you.

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