Behind the Scenes

I know many teachers across the country have already returned to their classrooms and some may not start up until after Labor Day. In our district we begin this coming week-at least our students begin. Many teachers have already put in dozens and dozens of hours of work to make their classrooms an inviting and engaging environment for their students.

Social media and sites like Pinterest can offer lots of ideas for classroom design and creative decoration-but they can also be discouraging if we have a tendency to compare ourselves and our work to others. What those sites can never show is the passion and commitment that go into preparing for a new school year.

Many in the public assume teachers are paid for their work to set up their classrooms, prepare curriculum and lessons, and create materials for all of their children. Many don’t realize that teachers spend so much of their own money for the supplies that these children will use-and we aren’t talking a few dollars here and there. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars every year for books and materials to teach our nation’s children. That’s money that doesn’t go into their retirement, their family savings, or their own child’s college fund.

But even more amazing, is how willingly and enthusiastically they do all of this. Teachers in my district have been excited about preparing their classrooms and building up their libraries with great books. They come to unpaid professional development trainings to learn about new curriculum and share ideas. I have been doing this teaching thing for over thirty years and I am still in awe of the dedication and passion that teachers have for their students and their profession. We have teachers in their last year of teaching who give up days in their summer to continue their learning! As I write this, there are teachers giving up their Saturday morning to distribute school supplies to children in our community.

I know I am singing to the choir with this blog, but I wish those who bemoan the easy life of a teacher or like to comment, “Well at least you had the whole summer off,” could see what summer is really like for a teacher.  There is so much going on behind the scenes in the world of a teacher that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. My post this week is my THANK YOU CARD to teachers across the country (and world) who pour their hearts and souls into this profession.  I hope you enjoy this last weekend, that you sleep well (without those stressful teacher dreams), and that you feel appreciated. For those who have already started their school year, I hope that your expectations and dreams are being realized with your students and that you feel a deep satisfaction from all of your hard work.  Here’s to another amazing school year!

One More Off My TBR Stack!

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 8.55.01 AMBOB  by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

Got time for one last summer read? Try this quick and enjoyable tale.

Five years ago Livy left her friend, Bob, in a closet at her grandmother’s house in Australia when she went back to Boston. She told him to wait there, she’d be back soon. When Livy returns for a visit, she has no memory of Bob, who has been patiently marking time. Slowly Livy recovers her memory and she sets out on a quest to find Bob’s home. Told in alternating chapters from Bob and Livy’s perspective, we fall in love with both of these vulnerable characters. Intriguing subplots make this story even more engaging. Just what is Bob? Where did he come from? Where does he need to go? Some twists in this text will more than satisfy your curiosity. From two of my favorite middle grade authors: Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead- a great combo!

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