I read spooky and silly and atmospheric stories to everyone in the building this week and last week. October is one of my favorite times for read alouds, and having fifth and sixth grade is extra fun because I can read a few extra creepy things to them.
In the month since I’ve seen students for the first time, things have been super busy at work. I’m up to the 970s with weeding the nonfiction section. You can see above what I have left to do (left side) and what I’ve already done (right side). I still have to decide on shelf labels, but I will definitely hit my first big goal of weeding and shifting the nonfiction section by Halloween.
I’ve weeded a lot of books. And the vast majority of them were barcoded but never imported into our current library catalog. Not an exaggeration; on a cart of 200+ books I weeded this week, 10 were actually in the library catalog. I’m a little terrified of what’s left that’s uncatalogued. It looks like books were weeded but put back on the shelves. So that’s what’s currently giving me fever dreams. But things are definitely improving!
So, I got a part-time teaching job for September. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a very exciting time.
I wasn’t actually planning on going back to teaching, but I started getting the itch this past spring. That itch to do my old work, to use that part of my brain, to teach. I consider a lot of things my work these days, but this was my work. I missed it. I was good at it. I had a hard time with how I left it. I applied to only this one two-day-a-week position thinking if I get it, great. If I don’t, that’s that.
And I got it.
And I’m excited. Really, really excited. Read more on My New Library…
So in September of 2010 I started taking photos of my work outfits after leaving one district and starting in another (this was the job I just left last June). I kind of just wanted to see if I could go a month without repeating outfits, but I kept it up. Then in 2011, I took a photo of myself almost every single day; the results are the above photo. This turned out to be the year I became pregnant with Hannah, so the outfit photos became a diary of my growing baby bump. I stopped the photos after she was born in March of 2012 because, you know, newborn.
But last week I’m pretty sure I wore yoga pants 5 out of the 7 days. And turtlenecks, and sneakers.
This must stop.
2013 did not go as planned. At the beginning of the year I fully expected to still be a teacher at the end of it. That’s not how the year worked out, and I’ve spent the last six months trying to figure out this new identity. Stay at home mom? Work at home mom? Temporarily at home mom?
The truth is that I have no idea what 2014 will look like, at least not professionally. I’m pretty sure my home life will still be as warm and fulfilling, and my friends and family will still be amazing. I hope it will be full of creativity and new knowledge. I hope I try lots of things and don’t completely fail at them all.
Mo Willems Season doesn’t fall on the calendar at the same time every year, but every Mo Willems Season is like Second Christmas to me. Everyone seems a little nicer during Mo Willems Season; a little wittier, a little more delightfully absurd. There’s an extra spring in my step the week I teach the kids how to draw The Pigeon. I am almost deliriously cheerful the week a new crop of kindergartners is introduced to Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. And I always need to take a moment to collect myself during Knuffle Bunny Week, when Knuffle is passed on to the next generation. Elephant and Piggie, Cat the Cat, Leonardo, Amanda, Goldilocks. This year I have decided to extend the festivities into June.
What makes this year’s Mo Willems Season even more awesome is the fact that April is the 10th anniversary of the publication of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Mr. Willems’ first book. I know I’m down to the wire here with one day of April left, but I am still celebrating the start of the festive season during anniversary month. And there are some pretty great ways for anyone to be celebrating the big anniversary.
Like this new anniversary set, with smaller editions of 3 Pigeon books in their own bus box:
I’ve been busy since getting the news that my contract would not be renewed next year.
Obviously the left photo is before, even though I had long since retired wearing my hair down in favor of my classic, time-for-a-haircut, Det. Odafin Tutuola braid. I decided to chop my hair off, and it is shorter than it’s been in almost 20 years.
This has been a helluva month. I posted about the awesomeness surrounding Hannah’s first birthday, but then I basically needed a break. I found out a couple days before her birthday that my district isn’t renewing my contract next year. I’m up for tenure at the end of the year, and…that’s the end of that. They don’t have to give a reason, but they did, and it was frankly more insulting than if they just hadn’t told me why. So that was a blow to the juggling act that has been returning to work after having this glorious little lady, and it all happened very fast, and I still had to try and pull off her birthday party despite being terribly distracted and frustrated. Then I spent the week between Hannah’s birthday and spring break trying to finish Battle of the Books with my 4th graders and deal with my job posting going out and telling folks I will not be back.