Adventures with Mum: A Return to the Blue and White Library

This post is both a throwback to the blog archives as well as a continuation of the procrastination surrounding my series on bringing digital activities and tools in the classroom. Neither of these things, however, make this post any less special to me.

Back in the summer of 2015, I wrote a blog post reflecting on my opportunity to revisit a library in which my earliest memories of genuine book love reside. My mum (who I’ve blogged about before) homeschooled me right up through middle school and I attribute much of my passionate love for all things literary to our time spent together in the small, blue and white library in Georgetown on Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas. The chance to walk the tiny, paperback filled aisles of that library as an adult prompted some very serious reflection in my own mind on what it means to teach a lifelong love of learning.

In December of 2015, against the odds, my mum and I were able to return to Georgetown and visit the library together!

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Almost 2 decades later, my mum and I strolled hand-in-hand through those aisles again, just like we used to. It was all exactly the same and yet completely different. We sat at the brightly colored round table we use to read at. We visited the small back room full of children’s novels. We pet the lazy, purring cats in the windowsill. And then we shared a funny moment in which we appreciated the fact that adult me was on my way to graduating with two Masters degrees, one in English and one in teaching English. The story that started so simply and sweetly, with a passionate mom who loved books and education so very much that she taught her enthusiastic daughter to love them in the same way, was ongoing.

Robert Frost is quoted as saying, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” My mum was an awakener of deep and mighty passions for literacy and education in my life. The foundation for a love of learning that she laid is something that has informed my decisions and my career for decades now. I hope to carry that legacy on as I enter into my first year as a full-time teacher with classes of my own. I hope to also be an awakener. And so I will always keep the blue and white library in my mind as an inspiration and a reminder of what good teaching can and will do for a young and open mind.

 

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Farewell, Newburyport!

Last week was the final day of my student teaching practicum at Newburyport High School! What a ride it has been. NHS has been an immense growing experience for me; I have learned so much with regards to my pedagogy, classroom management style, and professional conduct. Although I am truly going to miss my wild and wacky students and the incredibly capable, committed, and compassionate faculty, I am also so excited to begin this next phase of my career path. I hope to take the skills and strategies learned during my time at NHS and apply them to my own classroom in ways that reflect my personal style and philosophy of education.

As part of our farewells on my final day, my students and I spent some time in each of my classes sharing our experiences over the past few months and reflecting on our times together. We were able to debrief, laugh, and wish each other well before parting ways. In the infinitely eloquent words of one of my favorite rabble rousers, “We’re pretty annoying. Good job dealing with us!! You legit made us DO things.” So that was profoundly fulfilling? In all seriousness, though. The kind and encouraging words from students who were in the classroom with me day in and day out are just as meaningful and inspiring to me as the faculty’s reviews and letters of recommendations.

And so, with laughs, snacks, and heart-warming cards from both faculty and students (see below), my time at NHS has drawn to a bittersweet close. I am poised and ready for the next chapter!