As a second grader who was at the top of the class with the most AR points and highest reading level, you would assume that I enjoyed reading. Instead, I actually despised anything literature or book related. The scent of book pages made my head hurt; to me, they smelled like wet cardboard. Looking at a page for too long made me want to tear my eye balls out and sitting in one place, reading a 100 page story bored me to death. I would walk into my classroom everyday dreading the upcoming reading assignments. I always felt so much pressure because my teacher expected more from me but eventually I got tired of the high expectations and I was bored of working so rigorously on something I didn’t like to do. Consequently, my reading grades began to decrease within the next couple of years.
It was early on a Monday morning, I was in fourth grade and my mom and I had a parent/teacher conference to discuss report cards just as we did every other quarter. I walked into my classroom with my mom to see my teacher sitting at her desk indulged in her work. When she noticed my mother and I standing in the door way, she kindly greeted us with a big smile on her face, as always. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that my grades would be worthy but I wasn’t confident about my reading grade. In reality, I was a bit nervous. My teacher started discussing my grades with my mother and everything was going well. She then continued to inform my mom that my reading grade was rather low for someone with such high reading scores. Her voice went soft, almost as if she was disappointed in me. Again, the pressure and high expectations from my teacher annoyed me. She assumed that just because I was a fourth grader reading at a sixth grade level, that my reading grades should be exceptionally high in a classroom setting. My mom glanced at me with a concerned look on her face and I turned my head away to break eye contact knowing that she was definitely not happy with me. “We will talk about this later when you get home” she whispered to me as we walked out of the classroom.
Later that day, my parents and I were debating about what could be done to unravel this concern. My parents continued to grill me with questions regarding my low grade. I explained to my parents that I simply do not like to read. After a while, my mom proposed this crazy idea that she would pay me to read books; basically a bribe. Obviously I accepted her offer. The larger the book, the more I got paid. I started reading a lot more after that. I read big books, small books, happy books, sad books, all