We’re back to school today, and the weather was miserable. It’s hot and rainy, and by the time I made it to school, my shoes and socks were completely soaked through. My good slacks are a little too long and dragged through puddles, so my pants were wet, too. I won’t even tell you what this humidity does to my hair.
But as I was crossing campus for the welcome assembly, one of my students – now a second grader – gestured for me to come share her umbrella so I wouldn’t get wet, and I remembered why I love my job.
Between the end of 2014-2015 and the beginning of 2015-2016, I’ve been alone in the library for seven weeks with no students, except a few stragglers who came in to borrow or return books for the summer. I accomplished a lot, and the library is much tidier, but honestly? I wasn’t really feeling it.
Then a student called me over to crouch under her umbrella, and I was so happy. Our big yearly book order came in at the beginning of the month, so I’ve been waiting for weeks to show my students all of the exciting new things we have in the library. I channeled that excitement into making displays and reorganizing the library to create a writing center and a graphic novel/comic book corner. (Unfortunately, those shelves haven’t arrived.)
I started off straightaway with a kindergarten class after lunch. I only have one class scheduled on Mondays, but I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. I really admire their teacher’s classroom management, and her classes are always wonderfully polite. Even on the very first day, the only mishaps we had were from new students who just didn’t know the rules.
Well, and I chose a read-aloud book I really don’t like. Whoops. This is the last year I’m reading The Shelf Elf. I’ve asked on Storytime Underground for some other school library read-aloud suggestions so I don’t have to put myself through The Shelf Elf ever again. All of our other “library” books are about visiting a public library with a parent or caregiver: Lola at the Library, Delilah D. at the Library, Curious George Visits the Library, Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card, and so on. (Except for Lola, none of these books really speak to me, either.)
Except for that, I’m excited about the lesson plans I’ve laid out for this year. I mean, how can you not be totally psyched about reading Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” out loud to your fourth and fifth graders? Or Mary Walker Wears the Pants to your second and third graders? What about When the Beat Was Born?
Maybe you didn’t know this, but I became a librarian almost by accident – and yet, I had never wanted anything in my life more than I wanted this job. I lucked out. I love my work, I love my coworkers. I love books, of course. Most of all, I love my students, and I’m so happy to have them back.