The last four days on my work calendar for the school year are quiet days. I only counted seven people yesterday, minus the few that came in to interview for open positions--three administrators, the registrar, two custodians, and myself.
I'm able to get to the tasks that have eluded me during the chaotic month of May. Yesterday, I tabulated the last of the funds that came in for birthday book donations, lost lunch cards, and lost and damaged books.
This is only my third year as a librarian, but I don't think I've had as many payments for lost books as those I tabulated yesterday. It made me wonder if the books were truly lost, or was it just easier to write the check after a quick search didn't turn them up?
I headed to the office to let them know I was leaving for the day, and mentioned the payments to my assistant principal. She pointed to four very large plastic bags sitting in the front hall, labeled "Goodwill".
"Jackets," she said. "I haven't seen so many jackets left behind before. Really nice labels on them, too. And water bottles--some worth ten, twenty bucks, just thrown away."
While I was tabulating that money, a friend who subbed at my current school texted to tell me she was interviewing at my former campus. What could I tell her about it?
Great principal, I texted back. Smaller school means smaller teams means camaraderie. It's an IB-PYP and Capturing Kids Hearts school, both wonderful programs that have made a positive impact there.
The teacher websites are lacking, she texted. I replied that when the learning community doesn't have much access to the internet, the websites aren't a priority. And there aren't as many volunteers--very few, really--because parents are working, home with younger siblings, and/or lacking transportation. Teachers are busy doing there what volunteers help with here.
There are more ESL students, more struggling readers, more behavior issues. Low-income means homes with fewer books and extracurricular opportunities. I told my friend that she needs to be very, very aware of the differences between here and there.
It hasn't ceased to amaze me, the existence of Oz and Kansas, just a twenty-minute drive apart in our school district.