Here is a beautiful example of that, in the words our second grade teacher, Ms. Cairo:
This morning, Ms. Papke and I combined our classes for a buddy reading experience that I only wish words could explain :) Half of my students went to her room, and half of her students came to me. In both classrooms, kinders had the opportunities to read leveled books to the second graders, and the second graders had the opportunities to be a "teacher", supporting and guiding the little ones as they read.
Listening to my students share decoding strategies for tricky words, hearing words of encouragement when the kinders stumbled over a word, and seeing the confidence on their faces when they realized that they were helping another child was absolutely heartwarming.
Today I was reminded how special of a place Seaside is. We have the opportunity to become reading buddies with another class, lay on the floor and pillows while we work together, and experience the true joy of accomplishment (and reading!). I watched reading come alive and confidence overflow the classroom. I listened to laughter and kind words.
After our buddy reading session, we had a little meeting on the rug, complete with snack. Every single child expressed that they LOVED reading with the younger children, and can't wait to continue reading with them again soon. They complimented their buddies and also had ideas for next time, and how they could help the specific struggles of their buddy. They did this all on their own.
Moments like this are why I became a teacher in the first place. I am a happy teacher today; eyes filled with tears of joy and all!!