October 27, 2021 | Brent Harris
In the 6-8th grade classes at Mustard Seed School, students are required to read one book a week and write a response on that book.
This has been the case since long before I started working at Mustard Seed School four years ago. I remember when I had a pre interview on the phone with Tom Postema. During this interview, he mentioned to me that “Mustard Seed School students are readers. If they are on the bus, they’ll have a book under their arm; If they have a few spare minutes at the end of a class, they’ll likely open up a book they’re reading a take in a couple pages. Students read at least one book a week.” I recall thinking that there is no way students read one book a week.
I have since come to learn that my initial thinking was incorrect. Mustard Seed School students ARE readers, and they DO read one book a week, and more than that, they write a Reader’s Response every time. Over the last four years, I have witnessed the clear benefits of this regular reading. Mustard Seed School students are readers, and because of this they are also:
Prepared for High School and Beyond
And so, so much more. The benefits of regular reading have been made so clear to me while working at MSS that I’m confident our students could be the primary source of some study on reading during the formative years. I am so thankful to be surrounded by students who push each other, dive deeper, write eloquently, and think deeply. Reading is a huge part of the culture at Mustard Seed School, and I would say it is one of the central reasons why year after year, Mustard Seed graduates surprise their high school teachers.