Letting Go …

Reading time: 3


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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Did you know that there is overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship to people’s life chances?

I have decided to share one of my favourite reads from ‘Illusions’, by Richard Bach. It has a very apt storyline, and takes into account – what I perceive to be – a subtle link between my last blogpost and this story.

Did you know?

  • A person with low literacy is more likely to live in a non-working household; live in overcrowded housing; have reduced work opportunities and is less likely to cast a vote!
  • Parents are the most important reading role models for children and young people.
  • Only 1 in 5 parents easily find the opportunity to read to their children.
  • 10 to 16 year-olds who read for pleasure, do better at school.
  • Only 40% of England’s ten-year-olds have a positive attitude to reading.
  • Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds demonstrably linked to securing managerial or professional jobs.
  • 15.9% of all 16- to 24-year-olds in England are not in Education, employment or training
  • 70% of pupils permanently excluded from school have difficulties in basic literacy skills.

Illusions by Richard Bach

“Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, good and evil — the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

Photo Credit: Kristofer Williams via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Kristofer Williams via Compfight cc

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.


And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Saviour!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a saviour.

 — from Illusions by Richard Bach

Assembly / Classroom resource

I have uploaded this assembly presentation: The importance of reading by @TeacherToolkit for anyone to download.

The importance of reading assembly preview by @TeacherToolkit
The importance of reading assembly by @TeacherToolkit

52 slides in total. Set for various animations and transitions within. You will need to edit the content to suit you. There is no script provided. I do hope you find it useful to promote a love of reading in your school. Click to download.

The importance of reading assembly preview by @TeacherToolkit
The importance of reading assembly by @TeacherToolkit

Sources include: Mori, 2005; Reading at 16 linked to better job prospects, University of Oxford, 2011; NEET, 4th quarter statistics 2011; and Measuring National Wellbeing, Office for National Statistics, 2012.

2 thoughts on “Letting Go …

  1. I have been chosen as a giver for the fourth time, World book day gives a chance for students to recieve something that will change their perspective on reading , my choice Hello Mum. Short but sharp and effectively current

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