Finding My Own Book…At a Garage Sale!
I found one of my classroom library books at a garage sale, and I’m definitely not mad about it. I’m proud.
Like most teachers who are trying to build a dynamic classroom library, I attend lots of garage sales. I’m always looking for books to fill a gap in a series or new copies to replace tattered favorites. Recently, my garage sale travels somehow landed be in my own school’s district, and after stopping near a homemade sign, I approached a sale hoping to find a new treasure. As I headed up the driveway, I heard, “Are you a teacher?”
Every teacher understands that question. That question means this person knows you are a teacher, and your brain starts searching its depths to match the adult with a child you taught years ago. It turned out I had found the home of a grandmother of a student I had in class almost a decade ago.
After a bit of small talk, I perused the sale, when I glanced over to see a pile of children’s books. Knowing I would put them to good use, the grandmother said I could have them. I thanked her and walked to my car when it caught my eye. There, on the title page, was my handwritten name. I had found a long-lost classroom library book.
I’m wasn’t mad. Surprised, yes, but not mad. This child was not malicious or a compulsive thief, so one of three things must have happened.
- The child was reading the book at home, and it eventually went missing, only to be later found in an overlooked corner of a room.
- The child wanted to have the book with her during a trip to trip to her grandmother’s house.
- The child loved the book so much, she couldn’t bring herself to return it at the end of the year.
All of these make me happy. Even the third one. I’m happy because in each situation the access to books I provided in my classroom made a difference. I had the right book for the right child at the right moment. This child enjoyed reading this book, and that is special. If I can motivate and inspire all my students to enjoy reading as she did, I will have met my goal. It makes me smile to think that some of my other classroom books are probably floating around out there somewhere.
Maybe they’ll be at the next garage sale.