When I entered the 4th grade, I requested my teacher. Mr. Farmer. My parents were not wild about this choice because Mr. Farmer was the teacher who handled all the kids on the path to juvenile delinquency. And, my parents, who knew me better than I did, had me figured for a different future. Still, they supported my decision, the only time I had requested a teacher.
Looking back now, I learned more about human nature that year than any other during my Elementary years.
One thing Mr. Farmer had instituted was a reading time. The deal was that you could pick out any book in the school's library and read it during reading time. No book was off limits, and there was no pre-selected list. And did I have at that library! History, mostly. Nancy Drew, not so much.
Over the weekend, I read that having students pick the books they like is gaining ground in the education world. And, Iike most any theory, there are some who think it's not so good, and others think it's great.
For me and many of my peers at Hines Grade School, that one year in Mr. Farmer's class where we got to pick the books we read made a great deal of difference to our futures. I'm glad to see that some other teachers have discovered the wisdom in Mr. Farmer's method.