Slice of Life #1 – Mrs. Arney

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.


3 thoughts on “Slice of Life #1 – Mrs. Arney

  1. Before I forget, did you go add your link to the comments on the Two Writing Teachers blog?

    I will never forget when I was in 6th grade and had asked my teacher for a book suggestion. She walked over to her desk and gave me The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. She said it was a challenging book but thought I was ready for it. I was so proud of myself for reading the book and I loved it. That interaction with my teacher made it so much better! Glad you joined in! It’s not that hard and it’s fun!

  2. I LOVED reading that book when I was in 5th grade. There was a huge waiting list and I remember the teacher “snuck” it to me one weekend because she knew I’d have it finished before Monday.

    I’m glad you decided to join us this month.
    Happy writing,

  3. Kristin, Your mom sent me this. I cried. I know my mom would be delighted with what you’re doing! Keep up the juggling……it only gets worse!
    Bless you for writing this. I will share it with my family.
    Jane Arney

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