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.
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!"
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!!!"
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.
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.
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.