I walked past one of my favorite students (not that we ever have favorites) the other day and casually asked her what she's currently reading. She's always engaged in one book or another and she reminds me so much of me when I was her age. I love having hallway book-talks with her about her current reads. She pulled out a brand new copy of the book Fifteen by Beverly Cleary.
I have never read Fifteen and I don't know much about it, other than I wasn't allowed to touch it! I remember taking it off the shelf because it was the only Beverly Clearly book I hadn't read, and my mother took it out of my hands and put it back on the library shelf while stating the word later in a way that made me not ask questions.
The little one's mother works at my school and so I was left with the moral questions...
Do I tell her mother that the book might not be ok?
Do I let her keep reading and pretend that I don't have any clue what she's reading?
Do I figure that even though it wasn't ok for me to read growing up, in the days of the Disney Channel, Hannah Montana, and High School Musical it really can't be about anything she doesn't already know.
Do I run to her mother because this is the little one I read the basic first grade books about pigs and hedgehogs with?
This nagged me all night and finally this morning I decide to tell her mom. Not to tell her mom that the book is bad or wrong, but just to suggest to her mom that maybe she read the book too so that they can talk about any parts that might not be ok. Her mom immedietly turned around to go get the book from her daughter and later in the day reading the book while monitoring the hallway.
I'm not sure what she decided to do about the book, but she did say there were passages she didn't really think were ok for her daughter.
The guilt overwhelms me. How can I go and ask this little one to tell me about her books anymore? I betrayed a reading confidence.
Is there any worse crime as a teacher?