Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finding Your Smile

Last night at a staff developer's meeting (Ellin Keene has been doing a marvelous job of leading us for four nights this year), my colleague from the PEBC (Public Education and Business Coalition), Susan McIver, handed me a copy Augustus and His Smile.  She thanked me for letting her visit my classroom and for "making such an impact."  Really?  I was so surprised.  Such a kind token of thoughtfulness, just the kind of thing you expect from someone like Susan.  Well, when I read it, was flabbergasted.  
     There have been a lot changes happening around my school and throughout our district (some good, some bad, some indifferent--but that's another blog entry).  How did Susan know this was just the book I needed to read?  How did she know that it's words would speak so eloquently to me on my first day back with kids after our spring track-off period?  How did she know that I've been searching for answers for the past few weeks?
     In this book, Augustus has lost his smile and doesn't know where to find it... so he begins the search.  He searches through jungles, deserts, and oceans... and finally finds it in a pool of water after the rain just under his nose.  
   Catherine Rayner did it for me today.  It's the old "there's no place like home" and "the grass isn't always greener" scenero.  Because as we all know... there is no place like home and the grass on the other side of the fence isn't as green as we think it looks. 
    So within the cycle of uncertainty of ending a year, the perplexities of transitioning to a new school year, and throughout the process of change within this system called "school," I'll be falling back on this book... often!   Thanks, Susan, for sharing it with me!  It made me smile.


  1. Patrick--This sounds like just exactly what we need during this time of staffing changes and turmoil in our school. I'll have it in my hands of Friday, ready to share. :) Thanks for the review.

    I talked with staff members yesterday to see what interest there is for continuing to work with PV. We have many teachers wanting to take part for next year, so I hope things will work out for them to continue their important work.

  2. Aha-I loved learning about this new-to-me-book! Sounds perfect for this crazy time of year.