Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Library Fairy

Something extraordinary happened in my classroom.

Yesterday, when my kids went to their enrichment block in the media center, I noticed that my library corner - something I take great pride in - looked a hot mess. The stuffed animals, bean bags, and pillows were strewn about willy-nilly, there were papers and pencils left on the floor, and even - gasp - books overturned on the floor getting wrinkled and probably stepped on by 8-year-old feet.

Not ok.

Not when I have spent dozens of hours and probably thousands of dollars building up a library of books so that my kiddos will have enough to read every day.

I had a meeting to go to, so I had to leave the library corner the way it was. In general, leaving a mess behind with a close of my classroom door is not a problem for me. But this time, I was not happy about it.

Cut to this morning.

When I entered my classroom, what should I find but my library corner roped off with notes reading that the Library Fairy had closed the library until further notice because it was not being respected.

Well, obviously I took this very seriously with my students. I explained to them when they arrived that this was how I found everything this morning, and I was as mystified as they were. It prompted a very important and long overdue discussion about respect for our classroom materials.

They have been mistreating the library corner, so it is closed.

They have been tearing up cap erasers and throwing them at each other, so there are no more cap erasers in the cap eraser basket.

They have been too noisy when they line up, so they will practice silence for the beginning of lunch.

I am sorry, but I am done. It is December, and they are in third grade. I don't expect them to act like miniature grownups, but I do expect them to pick up after themselves and take care of the materials that the school, myself, and their parents bought them. You should have seen the look on their faces when I showed them the book about Degas that I found upside down with bent pages on the floor and told them that it cost me twenty dollars during my trip to New York this summer. I explained that I am not rich, but that I am happy to buy them all the books I can so long as they treat them with respect.

Thank goodness that Library Fairy's got my back. ;)