The things I do when there are things I don’t want to do… My procrastination can sometimes be productive- just not in the way that I should.
Today after school I could have done some work on reports, some planning, or so many other timely things-instead I weeded.
It started when I mentioned to our TA that I thought I could weed 200-300 books in June before the end of the school year.
“Remember in August, I culled more than 250 books,” I reminded her.
“Yes, but…” she doubted me.
I like a good challenge, but I DO struggle to part with books. I decided I would spend a few minutes “looking through” the nine boxes of books that do not even fit in my classroom. There is a shelf in our grade level piazza that holds fiction picture books with author’s last names A-G (That alone, may tell you, the struggle is real. I have a lot of books and it is hard for me to pass them on.).
I made surprisingly quick work of those nine boxes (filling 2 1/2 boxes with discards) and decide to “just do three more boxes in the classroom.” Well, three more morphed into 6, so it was another complete shelf (H-M, to be exact).
The total was 149 books!
“As soon as we can black out my name in all these books I will let teachers and TAs know that they can pick up what they would like,” I said. “Maybe Thursday or Friday after school.”
“Oooh, people will be so excited,” she said. “I have seen a few I would love to take home for Oscar,” she said (her son).
“Of course, you don’t have to wait!” I assured her.
Just then another teacher happened by and we told her about the number weeded. Of course, she wanted to have a peek (she has twin 3-year-olds who have finally stopped eating books and are really enjoying books of all sorts).
She ended up with a large stack and a big smile on her face.
“I better message W,” our TA said. “He’ll be so mad if he misses this!”
She is right. W is a huge picture book fan and often borrows books from me to read to his nephew over the weekend. I made her promise that she would let him know.
I actually will be surprised now if we will have any left to give away by the end of the week.
Before I left this afternoon I said, “”I have changed my mind. I’ll bet I can weed another 500 by the end of the school year.”
“Doesn’t it hurt your heart?” she asked.
“It sure does, but I want the kids to see the books they want to read, not just tons of books. If they are not reading them, I should pass them on.”
Of course, it is hard. I have so many memories tied up in so many of these books, but I have to be strong and try to not dwell on the money I have spent on these books over the years, but instead focus on the joy they have brought and can continue to bring, in another home.
Now I just have to wait until another afternoon when I have some tasks to avoid doing… Procrastination for good!
6 thoughts on “The Cull Begins..”
It is hard weeding what we hold precious, but weeding books makes it so much easier for kids to find a book that interests them. The best part is that you are giving the books new homes and another lease on life.
Impressive!!! Great job culling out so many books. This is also a goal of mine. I’ve been trying to organize my picture books because I keep forgetting where I put a certain book and I need a better system. I plan to weed out books and let my third graders pick them and then also make them available for others teachers. I also need to do this at home with my kids books!
This slice! I do identify with the tendency to do some other task while procrastinating. This is also inspiration for myself….it’s time I did my own classroom library culling.
We do get so attached to books we chose and enjoyed, but how wonderful to give them new life in new homes, where there is excitement! Your post reminds me of the old story of Corduroy the Bear, who languished on the toy shelf at the store until he found a home. Your culling is giving them now homes:) It is also very generous of you…
In fact, Corduroy was one of the books I passed on…
How lovely that you have so many books and that you can manage to part with them to good homes. Our school in India has been the beneficiary of many book weedings and garage sale and secondhand bookstore giftings… without it our students would never see a single book that is not a textbook in their homes. So many thanks to generous people like yourself!
Procrastination does have its benefits!