Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a day's work

This morning I volunteered in the school library. Cal's pre-kindergarten class had their first visit, and the kids looked impossibly small and vulnerable as they filed in. The thirty minute experience with them in that space was life-changing for me. I saw clearly how very hard those kids were working in this circumstance, and by implication all day: finding their way around a new space, being told to find a seat on a carpet square then choosing one and sitting. Facing the librarian for a story with so much else to look at. Getting up in shifts of four to choose a book, from two particular shelves, while using a shelf marker to mark the place of a removed book (in case the child decides against a book taken off the shelf). Choosing another kid to take their place getting a book, then finding a new seat and listening to one more story. Trying to remember how to line up in a particular order at the end of it all. I found it exhausting to watch them navigate this new experience: a hard day's work.

18 comments:

Daan said...

Lovely and those lamps are so funny!

Frau said...

My favorite volunteer job at school was always the library. Hope the boys are enjoying school.Have a wonderful Wednesday!

pve design said...

I spy "babymouse" which are a fun book to ease back in to the school. Books are a wonderful way to share-
book and reading groups are starting earlier and earlier.
pve

Sammi said...

Lovely pictures, and so true. It takes a lot of hard work to do all those things.

Debra said...

I use to love working at the library. Books-books-books...I was in heaven and it didn't seem at all like work. Hop over today and see the start of my collection for children. Would love you to add a few.

Jessica said...

I loved taking my students to the library--they always really came alive there. Ah, the power of books!

Cabrizette said...

Courage !!! Sometime, I would like to work on a library... Have a great day !

KPiep said...

Ah...but if they're lucky their hard work will be rewarded with a lifetime of library love!

Barbara said...

All those young eager children! What a fabulous age that is. I loved assisting with young kids in libraries. I miss it. Thanks for sharing!

Francesca said...

Are you going to volunteer all year around?

Becky said...

This is a great reminder of how hard they work at being kids. I need to keep this perspective in mind, even with my 8 year-old.

I somehow think of Cal as a lot older than Hank, but he's really not. Just one year! Pre-K is definitely what Kindergarten used to be for us.

nicola said...

yes, yes, yes. another mamma friend and i were just discussing the empathy we are summoning when the inevitable tantrums and fussies hit each afternoon/evening. it is clear SO MUCH is being learned, but so many changes. and so many funny little quirky issues arise. my little one is now adjusting, but the stress of the moment is not being able to take off her shoes at school. :)
i love the photos. i love school libraries. my mom is a librarian and is looking forward to volunteering in ours, which is being organized and re-established as our charter is fairly new and was adopted from a previous charter.
sorry for babbling! you touched a soft spot!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Ian said...

You have great definition on those photos.

Cate said...

love those lamps!

libraries are the best. everything about them is wonderful. the smell, the feeling of being surrounded by all of those books. i'm guessing that cal got to hear a story or two, too, on his first visit. how lucky that you got to be there on this day.

liza said...

What an insightful description of why our little ones are so exhausted when they come home from preschool (or any new place of learning). They are learning EVERYTHING! These are such beautiful pictures, and words to remember when we're dealing (hopefully very gently) with their exhaustion.

Paige said...

Bless their little souls...those first days of school are so exciting, yet challenging at the same time. Juliet's trying to wind down for sleep right now, and she's just as squirrely as can be. Thanks for reminding me that she's had a full day (well, morning) of work, too!

Lyndsay said...

My Mom was a children's librarian in an elementary school for years She loved when the little ones would come in. So sweet. :) And she said they always caught on to the library routine remarkably fast!

You Are My Fave said...

How great are those hanging light fixtures? Love. And love a good school library.