I wrote yesterday about the Great Book Giveaway with my students, and the subsequent autographs they asked me to do; I felt like such a rock star!
Two days later, right after the kids left for the day, I hosted a book sale in my room for the teachers in our building - $1 for hardbacks, $0.50 for paperbacks. My thought process was still about getting these books into the hands of as many student readers as possible. Since I knew I would not be going back to the classroom, this was the second best way to accomplish that task.
As emotional as the first day was, this day brought its own set of emotions, and right off the bat, there were moments of hilarity. You know the pictures of brides-to-be lined up outside Filene's before a wedding dress sale? Well imagine a much shorter line, yet still quite as determined. The first person in line had her roller cart, ready to make some great choices. The second person in line saw her come down, grabbed the nearest container, and hustled down the hall. They were cracking me up.
That laughter helped me quite a bit because as every book left my room, I felt a little pang of panic inside. Was I doing the right thing? Should I be holding on to more of my books? Each book came with a memory - a class with whom I had shared it, the person who had recommended it to me, a review I had written about it, a special message it gave me, a favorite character, a favorite author whom I now consider a friend. The list goes on and on. I realized that having books is quite a personal thing for me. But, I had to hold on to the idea that the books would be put in students' hands; just not my students.
As I continued to look around the room while teachers were perusing/buying, it brought me a sense of peace. I watched as teachers thoughtfully looked through the selections, asking me questions about books unknown to them. One teacher, currently an intervention specialist, will have a 4th grade classroom next year. She was there to do some serious shopping. Another colleague was leaving first grade and will be in a third grade classroom; she was shoring up her book collection. There were several second year teachers and one first year teacher. And I haven't even mentioned the veteran teachers who just wanted some new titles!
When it was all said and done, the last person left my room at 6:30; she "shopped" for almost 3 hours. I loved how important it was for all these teachers to get good books into students' hands next year. So, yes I still miss some of those books, but I know some child will thoroughly enjoy them next year.
And in case you were wondering, no one asked for an autograph on this particular afternoon. :)