Day 13. We all saw it coming…our school is closed #sol2020 challenge #solc

I went to school this morning knowing it was my last day for two weeks. Fortunately, it was a teacher’s prep day for conferences that were not going to happen. I clock in and clock out my most productive 8 hours ever. The school was quiet, I chatted briefly with some people, and two teachers gave me wipes for 30 chrome books I have in the library. I put my Random likes list from Spotify on the big speakers, and started obediently the orders of the email of the director of facilities with the subject, Please Prepare for Building Disinfection . I needed to be out of the school at 4 pm.

I went through my mental to do list, wrote and sent several pending emails to vendors, to follow up a complain about a wrong orders, to librarians at the public library, and responded to a similar amount. I distributed books pending to teachers, watered the plants, reshelved books, cleared surfaces, and did the most important thing of all: Cleaned the chromebooks that needed to be cleaned with or without Covid 19. They were literally gross.

I turned off the lights of the library at 4:20 pm and loaded my car with all the things I wanted to do during this quarantine: prepare a mock Battle of the Books for third graders, set up a computer for self-check out, cataloging pending books, putting covers to picture books (I just realized I forgot the covers), adapt for elementary students a great lesson by Miranda Doyle, on corona virus myths:”Stop the Spread of Coronavirus Rumors“, finally read the book Storytelling Strategies for reaching and teaching children with special needs edited by Sherry Norfolk and Lyn Ford, and of course write better slices of life for the March Challenge and go for multiple bike rides. Probably, I will return to school with one fifth of the things accomplished. I might sleep and procrastinate more than what I wanted. Still, I like to dream. This time I promise, I won’t feel guilty for not getting anything done. I will just try to take care of myself by reading, writing, and biking.

Note to myself: I need to make a notification in my calendar to clean the chromebooks more often and never, ever get them in white.

Mistakes, biutiful mistakes…

To the Beauty of Failure
To the beauty of failure

As perfectionist as I am, committing mistakes is part of my every day life. One of the reasons why I am not very good at writing blog posts is because I am scared of all the grammar mistakes I will commit. It takes time to write “the perfect post” in English. You don’t have an idea how many times I edit them, and how many mistakes I find every time I re-read them. I hate to commit misspelling mistakes. Even in Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp. I wish I were like those young adults that write in social media, with awful misspellings, almost as a new language, and enjoying it.

Even though, I am aware I commit tons of grammar mistakes while writing in English, I am starting to shake myself up, and grow a “who cares” attitude. That’s the only way I can improve my writing, by writing and committing mistakes, catch them, and correct them if possible, or move on.

busy libraryfussyBut that’s a mistake that doesn’t do any harm (but to my ego), and I might not consider those as biutiful mistakes. A biutiful mistake is the one that makes you grow as a person, and hopefully become a better one. One of these mistakes happen to me one day while I was working after school at the library. They have been pressuring us to finish a cataloging project, and I had almost three hours ahead of me for catching up on the project. So, I was happy to be on the late shift. But, oh well, nothing is perfect. The usual group of middle school boys showed up. I called them the ¨soccer boys” since they dropped themselves in the library with an attitude, with their laptops in hands only to be used to play shooting video games, and with a loud voices to call people out from one side to the other of the room. They were noisy, bored to death and in the library just to kill time until their practice started.  They were also, quick, sharp, and funny. I think that to certain degree, part of their thrill was to make the librarian in charge mad. The library was the only place in the school after classes that offered them tables and outlets for their laptops, and air conditioning that they can request to be turned on or off at their leisure.

That particular day, they were tons of other tired younger students in the library struggling with homework, and older ones that were studying for tests. Usually, the presence of the soccer boys was for the rest of the kids, a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they got to laugh and get distracted; the younger ones looked up at them and admire their corky personalities. For the older ones, by being observant of a situation that they didn’t approve, gave them an opportunity to judge. The curse was that nobody got things done.

Shushing librarianAnd I lost it. Yes, I was so frustrated that I started shushing them first, and then getting out of my desk yelling. After like 10 minutes of back and forth arguments, I kicked them out of the library. It was not a planned or controlled madness, and that upset me the most. When I was done yelling, I returned all flustered to my desk and started scoping the space. I noticed that in a corner there were a couple of very quiet parents reading, They had witnessed my tantrum from the start to the end. I freaked out. These parents were going to sue me. I was going to be fired.

Eventually, I apologized to all parties involved. The soccer boys, the parents, and the rest of the students that wanted to do homework, read or study. I made sure that everybody understood that even though the boys’s behavior was not acceptable, my reaction was not either. That day, I stayed 2 more hours after the end of my shift since I didn’t get any cataloging done before. The cataloging was a soothing exercise.

Now, I breath before reacting, and I ask students what is making them distracted. I reach them, instead of sitting in front of my computer all frustrated, I move around, I greet them with a smile as soon as they enter in the library even if they want to ignore me. I don’t get as much cataloging done as if I were alone, but I get the students involved in my chores, or I get involved in their qualms. And I do it with or without parents present. Besides, why we need to catalog books for? A school library without noisy students wouldn’t be a school library. #CCCWrite

Boys helping me taking down an old collection of book that I needed to catalog

After they helped me, I let them do a domino effect with the books. The conditions were two: they needed to count how many books were in the collection, and none of the books could fall on the floor. They were 91 books, and none of them were harmed in the making of this.