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 feel like the luckiest person in the world.