Treasure

You know how dragons have their hordes?

Well, mine happens to be books. Five years ago when I moved to my current school I installed a wall of a Billy bookcases. I gleefully filled them with books to entice kids to develop a love of reading. Student choice is paramount in creating a positive attitude towards reading, so I mindfully curate a diverse and engaging collection, all at my own expense.

Imagine my dismay, when walking into my room today after an extended medical leave, to find sections missing. My graphic novel section is a shadow of what it once was. Narwhal and Jellyfish series no more. Bye bye Bunbun & Bonbon. Dog Man is done. So are many other series. My heart left a lump in my throat.

Graphic novels are vital in getting reluctant readers hooked on reading. I am now missing an important tool in my reading program.

Students are gone for the summer. We reconvene the day after Labour day in September. The first day back before kids switch to their next grade, I plan to sit kids down and show them exemplars of past student work – One Pagers and Title Acrostic posters – based on missing books. I’ll explain that kids in the upcoming school year will miss out on doing projects on these books unless they are found. I’ll request that students go home and take a close look in case books accidentally made their way home, and would gratefully appreciate their return, no questions asked.

In the interim, I am left with a visual of kids creating their own horde at home, and that books are their treasure.

13 thoughts on “Treasure

  1. If you never get them back, I will hope you gain pleasure from thinking of your students hoarding them at home! (Perhaps your sub wasn’t clear about returning classroom books?)
    So fascinating that your students return to their old grade for a day, before moving to their new one! Did I read that right? I hope your plan works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we hold our old students for a day or two to verify student numbers. If there has been a drop in enrolment, transitioning to the new classes is put on hold while the classes are reconfigured and a teacher declared surplus.
      Yes, I hope my plan works too, but with the quantity of books missing, it’s unlikely. Someone REALLY likes graphic novels!

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  2. I often say that losing books is the cost of doing business. But sadly, our school’s business model does not buduget for this. I hung MISSING signs up when books went missing and happily, they got returned, for the most part. Your story shows you are a successful reading teaching! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your idea of missing signs! I could get kids involved making them.
      Thanks for pointing out that I am a successful reading teacher. That at least will give me solace.

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  3. What the??? Did your long-term sun not manage checkout of the books? Did an admin w/ a twisted definition of CRT confiscate the books? Finding a huge hole in your library is heart crushing. I hope the books are returned. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately I, alike with my teaching peers in BC, have a great deal of professional autonomy. So I don’t worry about them having been confiscated.
      Someone must have had very sticky fingers . . . Due to Covid students weren’t using the cloakroom. Their backpacks hung off the back of their chairs, so all it would take is a bit of distraction for someone to slip books in their bag.

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  4. I hope that you get your books back. It takes quite an investment of personal time and money to curate a thoughtfully diverse collection, and I hope that your former and current students benefit the most from each book and that they are returned for the next group to savor.

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  5. I lose a ton of books each year because the students love the books in our class library. I know there are some books I have bought four times and that is a big commitment, as shipping to Cambodia is ridiculous. It is sad, but I always imagine the kids needed those books for whatever reason… I also plead for returns and get many back, but many inevitably have disappeared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes! Four times!!! They must REALLY love what you buy. I am glad to hear that some of them make their way back.

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