Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Non-Contractual Benefits

I am settling into my new job.  Because I am shared by two schools and book circulation has only recently begun it may take another couple weeks before I work out the bugs in the system and know for sure things are working in the best possible way.  However, I have already had some really wonderful experiences that I didn't expect to occur already.  Allow me to share.

Between two schools I see nearly 1400 students.  I taught every class, from kindergarten to 5th grade, the word bibliophile.  I had one Spanish-speaking student attack the word logically guessing it had to do with books because biblioteca means library.  I was impressed with his reasoning.  I had another fellow correctly define it then admit sheepishly he found out from a student I'd seen earlier in the day.  I told him I admired his resourcefulness and high-fived him for learning it ahead of time.  I think he was surprised that I did not chastise him.  I had exactly one student who knew what it meant without hearing from another student.  I made a big deal about her knowing the word.  I loved seeing each of these kids beam over the joy of knowledge.

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I giggle to myself every time one of the younger kids sees me in the hall and either waves at me or pokes a neighbor in line to say, "That's the library lady!"

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At one school I have morning cafeteria duty during the time breakfast is served to early students.  Three days after I began circulation I reported to the cafeteria.  Moments after arriving a girl ran toward me and threw her arms around me before looking up and exclaiming, "I REALLY like the book I picked out!  I'm not finished with it yet but it's sooooo good!  Thank you!!!"

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I love when a student asks if we have a certain book or books on a certain topic and I can put exactly what is wanted into a kid's hands. The look of victory or relief or joy on a young face makes my heart quicken.

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Today I had a 5th grader check out a Shel Silverstein book.  I have long been a fan of Uncle Shelby.  This girl came up to me when there was a lull between check-outs.   She asked shyly if she could discuss a poem in the book. 

Absolutely, kiddo!  Which one?

Monsters I've Met.  (She reads the poem to me)  I don't really think the poet means just like the kinds in our imagination.  I think he means real people who maybe act like monsters sometimes.  What do you think?

I think that is the wonderful thing about poetry.  It has so  many meanings on so many levels.  And I think you are very perceptive to pick that up.

She left with the biggest grin.

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So I have a rotten commute.  I get paid not very much.  But I get some really awesome benefits that can't be quantified.  I get to see kids become excited about books and all the ideas contained therein.


17 comments:

Leave It To Davis said...

Kids are wonderful. I loved talking with them when I worked in the cafeteria in our jr. high here. They had such wonderful personalities, and most were kind and loving. You are blessed to work with children in this way, where you provide them with information and entertainment.

Beach Bum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

I was impressed with his reasoning.

A child with clearing reasoning ability? That is a potenial troublemaker that will have to be carefully watched. he might begin to ask uncomfortable questions.

Tabor said...

Being able to expand and change peopes minds...not too many jobs provide that opportunity.

Bijoux said...

Oh, the pleasure to be found in a good book. Sounds wonderful, Lime.

That corgi :) said...

I always thought being a librarian would be a good job; now I see why. Thanks for sharing these with us!

betty

Uncle Skip, said...

Books are what keep us thinking, particularly books from Uncle Shelby.

Whenever any kids come to our house they seem to gravitate to the Shel Silverstein books.

Craig said...

This job was made for you, wasn't it?

Those non-contractual benefits are the sweetest. . .

Kat said...

This makes me want to cry for you. It all sounds so perfect! What a wonderful job.
SEE!!!! Everything happens for a reason. Had you not been let go for absolutely no reason at all then you would not have this fabulous job (though I do hope your pay increases once they see how lost they were without you before).
:)

Stephen Hayes said...

I remember those rare moments as a teacher when I felt like I was making a difference. It almost makes all the hassle of being a teacher worthwhile.

(M)ary said...

Omg. You have the greatest job! The kids love you and the books. Hang in there with the commute.

Secret Agent Woman said...

The library lady! That's great. It sounds like your interactions with them are the sorts they will remember always.

Interesting poem - it's hard to tell where he was going with that.

coopernicus said...

rock on

Dave said...

That's brilliant Michelle! I am delighted that you are excited about your new job and are getting great satisfaction working with the kids. I love kids of all ages too and have worked with them most of my life as scout leader and sports coach and love them all. Glad you do too! - Dave

Daryl said...

i think getting fired from that crappy job was meant to be ... you are in so many ways effecting change in these kids lives in the most fabulous way

Suldog said...

You have one of the best jobs in the world. And those kids have one of the best library ladies ever. Win-Win.

Hilary said...

Lucky children to have you in their lives. You're perfect for them. And I suspect they're perfect for you as well. Beautiful.