For months I dreaded it.
Put off thinking about it and avoided planning for it.
Made a half hearted effort to sort through picture books and old files.
Opened cupboards, sighed and closed them again.
Emptied bins onto tables and left the piles for a week while I visited my mom in another state.
Sighed and said aloud to nobody but myself, “How did I accumulate so much stuff?”
Wondered what I needed to keep. Wondered what my readers needed most.
Decided to pitch nearly everything in my file cabinet.
Stacked books and carried them across the hall.
Transferred the mess from one room to the other.
And then, yesterday, I buckled down and spent the morning sorting through the piles, discovering resources I’d forgotten about, rereading sweet notes from students, slowly creating order out of chaos.
By noon, I had filled cabinets, organized books onto shelves, cleared the top of my desk and decided what to put in each drawer. I’d arranged tables and chairs and floor pillows, pulled together a collection of my favorite chapter books and found the poetry collection.
I pictured small group gatherings, large group discussions and cozy spots for readers to curl up alone as I found a place for each book in my collection. I smiled as I put Flora and Ulysses, with its worn book jacket next to a chair in the corner of the room, remembering how Kate diCamillo had commented that she loved my copy because it looked like it had been enjoyed by many readers. Yes, yes it had.
My stomach rumbled. The sun streamed through the three windows. I turned off the lights, closed the door and said hello to summer. My new classroom was ready for the readers who will come my way in the fall.