Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I Expected Books to Find Me

When I really need inspiration, I go back and reread my notebooks. They are sprinkled with my favorite quotes, notes I took at conferences, family stories, memories, quickly-jotted poems, and so much more. It doesn't take me long to find the seed of an idea and start writing. We used to talk to young writers in our workshops about using our notebooks to reach for volume and variety. We hoped they would write every day. We wanted them, over time, to collect entries that could become the seeds of future writing. We encouraged them to change the structure of their writing to include lists, poems, sketches, memories, descriptions, and more. It wasn't long before they discovered the treasure of ideas they had to expand upon.

So today when I began looking through my journal, I found a brief piece that captured my memories of going to the library when I was young. There was library within walking distance from my home. I went there often. The closer I got to the library the quicker my steps would take me. I knew I would come home with a stack of books that I couldn't wait to read.

I loved the smell of the library. It's familiar scent of books and bindings greeted me at the door. I would walk in the door knowing that I had arrived at a place that was sheer pleasure. I spent many quiet hours pulling books from the shelves to see if they were just what I was looking for. The library became a place that was familiar and comforting. I would leave with a stack of books in my bag that would fascinate me and inspire me until I returned to the library for more.

As I reread my journal entry, I noticed this line:

"When I went to the library, I expected books to find me."

So I was thinking about what expectations our children have when they come to school?
Do they expect to be inspired? 
Do they expect to have choices?
Do they expect to have time to wonder?
Do they expect to have time to wander?
Do they expect to have a voice? 
Do they expect to love learning?
I hope so.

We need to be watchful. 
Do our students walk into school with excitement and anticipation for a day of learning?
Do they sense a feeling of comfort because there are people there that really know them?
Do they smile and treat each other with kindness?
Do they love to learn?

I hope we can hear them say:

"When I go to school, I expect to love learning."

I am participating in the 
March Slice of Life Challenge.
Each day we post our thoughts.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Day 30 - I Expected Books to Find Me