Musings From A Bookmammal


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Endless Possibilities . . .

schoolbusMost school districts in my area have started the new school year by now—and this time of year always makes me reflective about the first day of school and what it can mean for the kids I see waiting at the bus stops when I drive to work every day.

I loved school when I was a kid. I looked forward to that first day as a time to wear a brand new outfit, find out who would be in my class, figure out which teachers were nice and which ones might be mean, and finally start using the new school supplies that I’d been hoarding.

In college, I loved that first week on campus–reconnecting with friends (this was before cell phones, texting, and even email—we actually WROTE LETTERS to keep in touch over the summer!), buying fresh textbooks, and settling back into the freedom of college life.

When I began teaching, I always looked forward to the first day of school with the students—because, of course, teachers actually have two “first days”: the first day of faculty meetings (which always seemed to go on forever), and then the first day when the kids come back. I was always so excited to meet my new students, to start figuring out what the personality of each class would be, diving into the curriculum—and yes, to once again finally start using the new school supplies that I’d been collecting all summer!

Now, even though I’m no longer working in the school system, I still think about the first day of school when I drive to work on these August mornings and see the kids waiting at the bus stops–brand new backpacks on their shoulders, fresh sneakers on their feet–and a totally empty slate.

The first day of school is packed with endless possibilities: Will this be the year with the teacher who creates that spark? Will this be the year when that kid finds a book that he loves? Will this be the year when it all finally clicks?  Will this be the year that sets the tone of success for that child?

These are the questions that I ask myself as I pass the bus stops. It’s a nice way to begin my mornings. I hope each of the children I pass will be enjoying their mornings, too.

 


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Musing Mondays–When I Need A Little Inspiration . . .

Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Monday ramble for the week:

I work in educational publishing, and, like everyone, I have my good days and my not-so-good days on the job. Lately it seems as though there have been a lot of very challenging days–days when I think I cannot possibly deal with one more ridiculous request or handle one more impossible deadline. That’s why I have several quotes posted at my desk–because, when it comes right down to it, I’m in this job because I’m passionate about helping kids learn to read and helping them learn to love reading. Sometimes I need a reminder of that.

For this week’s Musing Monday, I thought I’d post some of those quotes. These are my favorites!

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”
Frank Serafini

credit Susan Diehl

credit Susan Diehl

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”   Maya Angelou

credit Sun Weimin

credit Sun Weimin

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.”  B.F. Skinner

credit Alexandros Christofis

credit Alexandros Christofis

“Let children read whatever they want and then talk to them about it with them .  .   . we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.”  Judy Blume

credit Molly Poole

credit Molly Poole

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Jacqueline Kennedy

credit Jon Anderson

credit Jon Anderson

Have a wonderful week, everyone! If you’re able, please consider giving a child the gift of a book during this holiday season.


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Musing Mondays–No Kid Should Leave the Library Empty Handed!

Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

This is my first Musing Monday–and here’s a mini-ramble prompted by this quote:

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When I was in grade school, our librarian, Mrs. H, was one of those who seemed nervous to have any of the books leave the shelves, and it was really important to her that the shelves look neat and tidy at all times. If she thought a book was too hard, then that kid wasn’t checking it out. A little boy who was nearly jumping up and down because he’d just found the PERFECT book about trucks—no matter–if Mrs. H didn’t think he should check out that book, it just wasn’t happening.

Luckily for me, my parents took me to the public library regularly, and I had books of my own at home. I was also a good enough reader that Mrs. H didn’t spend a lot of time trying to steer me towards “more appropriate” books. But I can still remember the kids who didn’t get to take home the book they really wanted. I wonder if those kids—now grown–are readers today.

It’s a slippery slope. Librarians and teachers want kids to have success when they read. No one wants to see a kid quit a book in frustration. We need to help guide our kids to help them make wise reading choices. But sometimes motivation and engagement should be the deciding factor. If a kid shows up at the checkout desk beaming—then that kid should leave the library with that book. Simple as that.


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First Day of School–Endless Possibilities!

imagesCA4M603RThis week most school districts in my area began the new school year—and this time of year always makes me reflective about the first day of school and what it can mean for the kids I see waiting at the bus stop.

When I was a kid, I usually loved school. I anticipated the first day of school as a time to wear a brand new outfit, find out who would be in my class, figure out which teachers were nice and which might be mean, and finally start using the new school supplies that I’d been hoarding.

In college, I loved that first week on campus- reconnecting with friends in person (this was before cell phones, texting, and even email—we actually WROTE LETTERS to keep in touch over the summer!), buying fresh textbooks, checking out the new guys in the dorm, and settling back into the freedom of college life.

When I began teaching, I always looked forward to the first day of school with the students—because, of course, teachers actually have two “first days”—the first day of faculty meetings, and then the first day when the kids come back. I was always so excited to meet my new students, to start figuring out what the personality of each class would be, diving into the curriculum—and yes, to once again finally start using the new school supplies that I’d been hoarding!

Now, even though I’m no longer working in the school system, I still think about the first day of school when I see the kids on these first days at the bus stop—brand new backpacks on their shoulders, fresh sneakers on their feet, and a totally empty slate. That first day of school is packed with possibilities. Will this be the year with the teacher who creates that spark? Will this be the year when it finally clicks? Will this be the year that sets the tone of success for THAT KID?

I love looking at the kids I see waiting at the bus stops on these first days, and I wonder what the new school year will bring to each of them.