The call came in November. Would I consider a semester substitute teaching job in the Library Media Center at my former school? The regular librarian needed the time off for health reasons. After serious consideration, weighing my retirement activities and freedom versus going back to school and a schedule, I said, “Yes.”
The first day both aides were missing in action. I struggled to remember how to access the library management computer program. The first classes of second graders happily checked out books and listened to the story I read. I found much remained the same in the media center, and I survived the day. The difference lay in new titles and relocation of Biography and Picture Books in the library. I watched the clock tick off the minutes of each class.
My brain reconnected synapses long unused, dinosaurs 567.9; folklore, 398.2,
and world records, 032. I learned the latest reading fads: English Roses and Wimpy Kid, and paranormal. I coped with the newest technology, the iTouch.
An illustrator enthralled the kids with her work of drawing pictures for storybooks. One of the books featured origami, and she led the kids in paper folding a frog.
Two classes viewed The Dot, about being inspired to draw and then created their own drawing.
Sixth graders rose to the challenge of writing a web page about an interest of theirs. After evaluating web pages and learning the features of the assignment, they focused their energy and completed the project.
From story reading, to library etiquette, to using the Dewey Decimal System, to writing lesson plans, I hopped right back into the career I had retired from. This week students are learning that the regular person is not returning. One even asked me if I would be back. Nice to be asked, but the answer is, “No.”
And now I’ve come to the last few days in this realm of students and books and magazines and electronic devices.
Has the time been enjoyable? Yes
Am I ready for the semester to end? Yes
Now it's the end of May and the last days of school. I will slip back into the retirement world of not living by the clock more easily than I left it.