Yesterday and Today I had the privilege of working at the Plano West Senior High Library again. These were summer school classes which is interesting to see at the high school level. One of the highlights was speaking to a former student at my school. He is now in 12th grade taking ELA 4. We discussed some of the teachers he had. The funniest part was when he described “this teacher that told a BUNCH of stories.” I knew instantly that he was talking about Mr. Truitt. He taught Texas History through a million personal stories that made history come alive for kids. That is why they remember him so fondly.
Steven Lewis had 4 classes scheduled to come in throughout the day. He did a book talk or 3 for each class. He has a very casual, calm demeanor. He looks over the class. He takes a seat. He starts talking to/ with them. Simple. Yes. Very effective with these kids. He bantered a bit with one kid that reminded me of one of my former students. That student was labeled “trouble” but I love the kid. He was funny and for whatever reason, he was always respectful to me.
Steven let me jump in an book talk a few of my favorite books too. I talked Rot and Ruin and Six of Crows. He and I talked about many different books throughout the day.
I was quite proud of myself at one point because a student asked me where the poetry section was located. Instantly the number 811 popped into my head. Sure enough that was right! I led her over and she found a book. That’s the first time an dewey number has popped into my head rather than a location. I’m such a visual person and normally very number averse. So locations of books are normally easier. This however was not my home library, so I didn’t have a location in my head. A few weeks ago, I was in an elementary school rearranging shelves. I condensed all the 900s to make more room for the 800s and shifted them around. I remember that the 811 section was enormous. Those poetry books took up 4 whole shelves! That is why I remember that number.
Today I worked with Angelia Lewis (wife of Steven Lewis). They take turns during summer school. She works at an Elementary library in Plano. It was nice to pick another elementary brain. (I feel so zombie when I say that!) We talked about her schedule and different things she has tried with that over the years. She tried Flex schedule, but ended up not ever seeing some of the kids. A set schedule works best for her and I can see why.
Susan Perrier is the Assistant Librarian here at West throughout the year. She had a list of summer projects to do in the library and I offered to help. The prof. development books were located in 2 different places. I moved them all to one location and organized them and the curriculum books by Dewey numbers. I organized them- one section PROF and one CUR. I questioned the classification for some of the books though. I left a pile for Mrs. Rich when she comes back in the fall. I think if this were my library, I would put them all in one category because there is so much overlap and the line is so fine.
Something I’ve learned in all these visits is that the work is never done. There is always another project that needs doing. This makes me happy.