Sale of my Dreams


Don’t you just LOVE  a good garage sale?  I visited one Saturday and got so much more than books.  The sale was out in the middle of nowhere, and it took my husband and I about thirty minutes to get there.  I thought to myself ‘this isn’t even garage sale season….I doubt there are any bargains.’  Boy, was I wrong!  There were HUNDREDS of books. And lessons.  And books with lessons attached in ziploc bags – you know what I’m talking about.  This gal didn’t want you to JUST BUY THE BOOK – she wanted you to get the book AND the lesson, and pass on the love to your own students!

This angel, a freshly-retired, 35-year first-grade first-grade veteran, was selling her possessions for twenty-five cents each.  Yep, you read that right.  Only a quarter a piece, unless otherwise marked.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!  If you spent $25, she would give you another $10 for FREE!  Somebody pinch me!

This lady, whose name I still don’t know, was meticulous in her collecting of wonderful primary picture books.  All of my friends were there:  Jim Arnosky, Dr. Seuss, Patricia Pollaco, Ruth Heller, Jon Scieszka, William Steig, and so many more.  I told her that I was a fifth grade teacher, not a primary teacher, so some of the books weren’t for me.  Then I thought about writing instruction and added more titles to my stack.  She smiled knowingly.

With my saintly husband trailing behind me, arms heavy with books, I was finally ready to settle my bill.  (Of course, I got the $10 free – was there ever a doubt?)  After giving her my money, I was overcome by the need to hug her.  I thought about all of the lives she had touched in her thirty-five years of teaching.  What lucky souls.  Her hug did not disappoint.

She radiated sunshine on an otherwise gloomy Saturday morning.  As she told me I made her day, I knew it was MY DAY that had been made.  Not only did she give me her books, but her enthusiasm…her attitude….her joy.  In about ten years, I will be in her shoes, hoping to pass on my teaching materials to some deserving soul.  I plan to make the most of that time!

Monday malaise

My first post!  The pressure!  My students are always somewhat sleepy on Mondays, but even considering their mild malaise, they really showed up for our close reading activity today.  We analyzed the Beatles’ Yesterday together, and who knew some of my kiddos had such deep thoughts!?  Great discussions emerged from that analysis activity, and one thing THIS teacher learned today is that I need to expect more from my students!