“I never liked reading until you were my teacher.”

“Do we get to write stories again next year? Because I have a sequel planned.”

“I don’t think I’ll have time for the internet this summer with all the reading I’ll be doing.”

As a teacher, these comments make me want to grin and jump and giggle like a school girl. As a teacher, they are the greatest measure of success. I heard each of these in the past two days. One came after student readings. The others after I made a presentation to encourage summer reading.

These forty-two, sixth through eighth graders are about to embark on summers of texting, video games and Judge Judy marathons. My hope is that they will take a spark for story along with them.

While I can take credit for the commitment of time we gave to reading and writing this year, I can’t take credit for the worlds in which we played. Our journeys to Camazotz, Macomb County and Panem changed us greatly. They changed our thoughts, attitudes and helped to breed an excitement for story.

I can say, on this last day of school, that I take off my teacher hat with a feeling of satisfaction. I replace it with a less worn, but equally satisfying hat. This summer, I am a writer – set off to play in worlds of my own making.