Thanks to some twitter and blogging friends, I’ve discovered the Slice of Live 2012 Challenge being hosted over at Two Writing Teachers. I’m not going to lie – at first I was intimidated by the idea of writing every day. I mean, I just started this blog (Jan. 2, 2012) and I’m working at trying to maintain it while maintaining life as a ph.d. student, mom, teacher, etc. But then I thought, everyone is trying to balance stuff! And one of the big reasons that I started a blog is because I want to meet and converse with other people – about children’s books, teaching, thinking, and everything in between. And if I’m not writing – well then, that isn’t going to happen.
So here I am. And here is my first slice of life…
Mrs. Arney – Librarian Extraordinaire
I remember Mrs. Arney so vividly, mostly I remember her laugh. She was the librarian at the Peninsula Community Library, which happened to be located in my elementary school – Old Mission Peninsula School. I remember vividly the day that she gave me FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER by E.L. Konigsburg and said to me, “Kristin, you remind me of the main character in this book and I think you’d really like it. Will you please read it and tell me what you think?”
WELL!!! Let me tell you, not only was I excited to read something that made Mrs. Arney think about me, but she wanted to know my opinion. And I gave it to her: good, bad, and everything in between. She wanted to really know what kids thought, and if she thought I was feeding her a line of baloney, she’d look me straight in the eye and say, “Kristin Arnold, you tell me what you really think. That’s what matters, not what I think.”
Though I don’t remember that specific conversation, I’m convinced that Mrs. Arney is one of the biggest reasons why I am so committed to supporting the authentic use of literature in schools. And while I love helping to match up younger readers and books; I’m now challenging myself to try to match my undergrad students with books that they will enjoy and will tell me what they think (good, bad & everything in between). My hope is that by giving them that same experience, they will pass that along to their future students.