September 8, 2009

Back to School

You lovely readers keep emailing or commenting and even texting me to ask how the first week of school was and if I'm loving it. In a word, yes. I love it.

It's kind of hard for me to put in words all my feelings about it. There are so many parts of it - the lesson planning, the 800 kids, the books, the meeting two schools' worth of teachers and administration and staff, and the lovely aides at both schools.

It's surreal, for one. I can hardly believe I'm the one planning my own lessons, standing up in front of the classes like an actual adult, giving book suggestions, checking the books out, and at the end of the day re-shelving books, turning off the computers, shutting off the lights, and locking up the doors. It's like I'm a real grown-up.

There have, of course, been a few kids and classes that are more difficult than others, but overall the kids have been delightful, and the classes manageable and well-behaved.

A few moments this first week that have been particularly awesome:
  • One fifth grade class came in to check out books. One girl showed me her selection, a book by Lois Lowry, that I hadn't read, but I told her I'd read four of her other books and really enjoyed them, so it was probably going to be good. Another girl had Harry Potter 6 - she'd just seen the movie and thought she might enjoy the book. I told her it was even better than the movie. The third girl picked up Ella Enchanted and I told her it was one of my all-time favorite books and that even my husband had loved it. She looked at me and said, "Wow, you know so much about books." Clearly, that made my week.
  • Two little first graders pulled out chairs and sat in them with a little stack of books in their laps. One of them said to the other, "Now I'm going to show you these books and then we'll read this one." I asked her what she was doing, and she beamed up at me and said, "We're pretending to be you!"
  • I read the first chapter of Swindle aloud to a fourth grade class, a class that had been a smidge rowdy during the lesson. I was sitting with my back to the clock, so after the first chapter, I turned around to see what time it was and about five kids cried out, "Read another chapter! You have time for another chapter!" And then they all sat like little church mice while I read a second chapter aloud. It was lovely.
I walk around thinking "I love my job." I come home and look forward to going back the next day. I can't help smiling wildly when some kid asks if they can check out the book I talked about during the lesson. Every single adult at both schools has been nice and helpful and professional. I am beyond impressed with the district I'm in.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

26 comments:

  1. Hooray! I bet you'll be that magical childhood librarian the kids will remember when they're older.

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  2. My wife is an elementary school librarian here in LV. I had to smile at your comments, it sounded like her. She changed schools last year and is much happier at her new school. I hear her say, "I love my job." all the time. Just think about it, all that fun and you get paid too!

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  3. I am soooo happy for you! It is not every day that someone gets to be what they REALLY want to be every day! Congratulations on your success!!

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  4. You are so lucky that "your" schools let the students go to the library. You are lucky that the students get to see and know you.

    The library in the elementary school I went to was up in a corner of the multi-purpose room just off of the stage. Sometimes we actually got to check out books. When they we due, the teacher would collect them in class and return them herself. Then we wouldn't get to go back for a long time. And, do you know that in all the time I was in high school (3 different ones in two states), I was probably only in each library once. Yep, once. We never had a time to go except to learn how to use the library! Luckily, we had tons of books at home and my mom would somehow get us to a library or bookmobile.

    I am so glad that you get to make an important impression on these young people.

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  5. Cute kids! I love that the first graders pretended to be you. They really are lucky to have you who loves and has a vast knowledge of books.

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  6. I am so glad you did it and became a librarian. I still think it would be the best job in the world and your post proved me right. Those kids have no idea how luck they are to have you.

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  7. That is SO awesome. Congrats.

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  8. Congratulations on loving your new job.... how exciting for you. I can practically taste your enthusiasm!! It's yummy, I want some too!!

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  9. I especially loved the story of the first graders. How complimentary! Congrats, Janssen!

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  10. This is so awesome. I am thrilled for you! Yay!

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  11. way cool. you're a librarian. a real live librarian. and you're making me want to go back to elementary school and listen to you read. that was the last time i got to listen... in 6th grade our CORE (english/reading?) teaching had ME read to the class outloud instead of her. way to make reading magical for these kids. it isn't for too many kids now.

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  12. Those kids are so lucky to have you!

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  13. This is the best post I've read today. It does sound like a dream come true.

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  14. Oh I'm so glad you're loving it! Like a couple of others, I thought it was so sweet that the little girls were pretending to be you.

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  15. Hurray! I wish the big MEANIE librarians I had growing up were more like you!

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  16. You have spent hours/days/years preparing for this moment.....you are now reaping the reward. It's well deserved.

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  17. Your students are so lucky! I wish you were my librarian, it would be so fabulous. Very cute post, I'm excited for more school stories.

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  18. My wife, has the following quote posted on the wall in her library

    "A library without a librarian is nothing more than a room full of books and a few computers. It is the librarian who transfers the library into a center of learning."

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. (Sorry, that deleted comment was me - spotted a typo that I couldn't overlook;)

    Congratulations! I love it when someone loves their job! And your experiences remind me of the good times I had when teaching 1st grade. Incidentally, I've now read "Impossible" and "If I Stay" from your recommendations (even though I have no idea where I came up with the time to read), and LOVED them both! Keep up the great work:)

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  21. I still remember my elementary school librarian: Ms. Moore. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Honestly for years that was my "what do you want to be when you grow up?" answer. An elementary school librarian. I'm so glad you are living the dream and loving it :)

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  22. I'm so happy for you! How wonderful to love your job so much (don't we all wish for that!).

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  23. Yaaaay! I'm so happy! I never had a librarian that I liked, or even remembered. I'm so glad that you are changing lives and molding minds and such, it makes me happy.

    xox

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  24. finally back to a computer after over a week on the road, and I can't tell you how happy this post makes me. you are such a wonderful, passionate person.

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