It’s amazing what a gold star can do to make even the most strenuous, tiring, or boring work worthwhile. Last month I gave my students a Dewey Decimal number each day to go hunt for, and if they could find it and tell me what was there, they got a gold star. Honestly, I wasn’t sure they would buy it, but boy did they. A whole group of fifth graders even came in during recess on their non-library days to earn their stars. In fact, even though we’ve moved on to a new activity in the library, they are still asking me for a number to go hunt for to earn another star.
I totally get it. The past two weeks have been a blur of too many things in too little time. My days have been spent running from one thing to the next to the next. But this week was teacher appreciation week and man, even though I know most of the little notes I received were parent-driven (having sent my own kids off with cards and treats for their teachers), I enjoyed getting my gold stars. I love my job all the time, but this week, despite being in the middle of mid-term madness in the grad school end of my life, was a gold star week. How can you not smile when you get a note that says “I love books! I love reading! I love you!” from a smiling five-year-old? Also, I found out that wearing your hair in mini (messy) victory rolls earns you cool points with middle school boys, mostly because they can't understand how you make your hair do that. Who knew?
And now it’s Friday. And sunny. (And Mother’s Day weekend) And other than the normal child-centered weekend activities that come with parenthood, I am taking the weekend off from that pile of things to do in my head so I can enjoy the sunshine and the city and my family. I heard a great expression today “First I have to contend with the assholes who control my brain.” Well, I’ve told them to can it until Monday. I’ve turned in my papers and answered my emails and shelved all the books that are going to get shelved. I earned my gold star for the week. Now it’s time for the weekend.