Styling Librarian: Wonder and Accolades
I am enjoying a second read-through of the brilliant book Wonder by R.J. Palacio and have been noting exquisite lines throughout. I just arrived at the point of the book where there is a sister and her boyfriend receiving a standing ovation at the end of a play performance and the main character, August, thinks to himself: “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” I had a conversation with my son after reading aloud this portion of the book. We talked about how my most memorable, special standing ovation was receiving a Literacy Award with many close friends and colleagues all introducing me. So here is my reflection, a few months after the award experience:
Award- How to feel wonderful unexpectedly: Volunteer your time and give of yourself selflessly. Accept the accolades full heartedly. I was quite startled in the middle of a teaching day when my assistant told me there was an odd message to return, “Good News. Please return call.” Well, I couldn’t tell from that if this was a parent with a need, a book vendor hoping to chat, or a school librarian calling somewhere from around Oregon with a question.
So when I returned this call, I was shocked and honored to find out that I won a Literacy Award through the International Reading Association and Oregon Reading Association after being nominated by my colleagues in Oregon Association of School Libraries. I wrote the speech below to accept the award. I was overwhelmed and appreciative. It was a heart-wrenching time to accept the award since I was moving to a new teacher librarian position in Hong Kong…
Thank you for this award. I am quite honored to be recognized and wondered, “Why me when I have colleagues across the state that are just as deserving?” I think there are three words that define me in terms of my success with literacy endeavors in addition to my professional life, those are: dedication, persistence, and passion. I love putting energy into programs that benefit loads of people, not just my students and their families but help colleagues nearby or across the state. That is the reason I become so excited about my favorite literacy programs such as Oregon Battle of the Books which I work on with amazing colleagues across the state, why I support other reading programs by creating resources for everyone, and why I love being a teacher librarian since I’ve always known that the energy I put out, I always get back ten-fold. I love working on programs through the years where my persistence comes through, and the dedication keeps me going with all commitments.
I am quite concerned about children across the country losing opportunities to develop their research skills, technology evaluative skills, and additionally their love of literature when teacher librarian positions are cut. In Beaverton, we’re feeling the drastic pain of this presently as well as other locations around Oregon, our students have been losing out for years. I dream that education funding will be reprioritized in our state and nation sooner rather than later.
I love where my passion has led me through the years from supporting local and regional programs, Oregon Battle of the Books, and now to moving to Hong Kong and blogging about literacy. I find that my energy continually grows stronger as the years go by which provides me with the excitement I need for innovation and new ideas. Thank you again for this award. I am overwhelmed, honored, and grateful for this recognition.
*End of speech.
Thank you again to all my precious wonderful colleagues who nominated, supported, and spoke on my behalf for this beautiful award. I also loved that my close family was there to experience the award reception with me. It was a beautiful way to exit Oregon and begin my new career. I am inspired, refreshed, and excited for the years to come. I am so grateful to have a beautiful book that I’m treasuring reading a second time throw me back in time to this special standing ovation and also to other beautiful moments in my life. Wonder is one of those books that I continue to make personal connections with throughout and now also enjoy experiencing new connections with my son. I cannot recommend this book enough! — Choose Kind image and link above are a beautiful celebration of the message of Wonder and I recommend to anyone to go explore that link. **AND if you are planning to read Wonder aloud in your class, I recommend taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity to connect with others, see more details about #WONDERschools at: http://mretome.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/join-wonderschools/