The teacher part of me has not died in becoming a librarian. One of the biggest perks of being a teacher is watching young minds grow, change and develop into thinking (albeit hormonal, slightly imbalanced, but darn funny) minds. The thing I miss the most about being in the classroom is the opportunity to get to know students - their lives, their strengths, their struggles, and their passions. As a classroom teacher I really got to know the kids in my classes, but I never really learned much about the students who didn't take German. As a librarian, I learn lots of names but I don't have as much of an opportunity to get to know kids on an individual basis. Except for two types of kids: the book lovers and the punks. I know the punks because I have to talk to them every time they come into the library about one of the following things: drawing on the desks/walls/bookshelves, horseplay, trying to check their facebook status, swearing, or being punks. I had to deal with the punks as a classroom teacher as well, so it's par for the course. And usually, I can find one or two redeeming qualities to the punks, so they aren't that bad.
However, it's the book lovers that make my job a joy each and every day.
Take, for instance, the three girls who come in and have lunch with me every day. They love books just about as much as I do and we banter about books constantly. If I read a book that I know one of them will enjoy, I give it to them. One of them constantly tries to convince me that there is literary value to Nicholas Sparks novels (professionally, I know she's right, but personally...gag me). Another devours every book i give her within 24 hours and always give an honest opinion about books (last week: "Only babies would like that book Miss C...what were you thinking?"). Those girls make my day each and every day - even on days when they're hyper and loud.
This morning I visited some 6th grade classes and talked about different book awards, the awards process, and the award winners we have in the library. As I was getting ready to leave, a boy caught my attention: "Miss C...look!!" I turned, and in his hands he held the perfect Steampunk tophat and goggles. I melted. This kid knows I LOVE Steampunk (if you don't know what Steampunk is, think Will Smith's Wild Wild West. It's technology + historical fiction = pure awesomeness), and now we're permanently bonded through the love of a genre.
I don't know where life will take him, who he'll turn out to be, or what books he'll love as an adult, but I do know that we've bonded because of books.
Some people are super stoked for this weekend because of the Super Bowl, and that's great for them. I am super stoked because sweet Abram brought his rockin' cool hat and goggles in to show them to ME today. That? Makes me pretty freakin' cool.
*Update: I also spend quite a bit of my day focused on technology - fixing it, teaching it, figuring it out. I'm as much tech-guru as book-guru. Beloved library friends, please stop the influx of emails about "don't you work with technology?" and "gosh, I wish I had time for books - I'm too busy with technology". Books are just the focus today. For the record, I heart tech too.