T.O.T.Week: back to school

Teachers steal – ahem, borrow – ideas all of the time. Have you never joined the queue for the latest TpT (Teachers pay Teachers) sale? I bring it up because I might have engaged in a bit of thievery myself this past week. I had been searching for a new bookshelf for about three weeks, and my fingers kept hovering over the checkout carts online unable to pull the trigger. I was sure I could find one that was cheaper and within my reach. Lo and behold, the opportunity arose! I was working in my own classroom when I had a literal light bulb moment. Okay, fine, the power went out, but serendipitously, I had an idea! A teacher had just announced that she wouldn’t be returning… and her classroom was down the hallway from mine! With the help from our school’s maintenance team, a bookshelf was being wheeled into my classroom within the half hour. Now, I had complete license to do this, but I did get a giddy sense of rebelliousness at being the first to claim the open furniture. Not my fault I came to school on a Sunday…

Why was I there on a Sunday, you ask? I saw a meme recently that August is a perpetual month of Sunday scaries for teachers, and that’s not a complete falsehood. Though I still find ways to work constantly throughout the summer, I have to admit that two months off is an incredibly restorative practice. I highly recommend it. However, I am so excited about going back to work. I love the smell of the fresh pencils and erasers, I love labeling the materials, I love making small tweaks to my classroom space, I love writing postcards to each child welcoming them to fourth grade, and of course, I looooove my new bookshelf!

Back-to-school isn’t just for the children. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is possibly the best depiction of a freshman year college student that I’ve read thus far. Jerry Craft’s New Kid puts a fresh twist on a fish-out-of-water story when seventh grader Jordan Banks transfers from his public school to a prestigious new prep school. The adults feel that back-to-school vibe too! Laurie Gelman’s Class Act is a hilariously observant take on the class parent role from the allergy emails to parent politics. And a personal favorite of mine, First Day Jitters, is a picture book that proves the first day of school is a first for many.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg (picture book)

New Kid by Jerry Craft (middle grade graphic novel)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA novel)

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (adult book)

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