As summer comes to its all-too-familiar close and I head back to the classroom, I take with me a sense of delight. The gift of time afforded me the opportunity to become lost in literature; reading bleary-eyed well into the night on more than one occasion. I’ve had the pleasure to read wonderful new literature for children this summer. By my accounts I’ve read more than forty books, including several professional resources, since school was dismissed in June. Few left me wanting, and one in particular soared above the rest.
“The Year the Swallows Came Early” by Kathryn Fitzmaurice is a beautifully written story about families, friendship and forgiveness. Set in
Recently, I attended a one-day networking session with fellow teachers and I could not help but nestle my copy of “Swallows” into my book bag before leaving the house. As we collaborated and discussed best practice strategies I looked for an opportunity to introduce the novel, and went on to read the chapter entitled “Jasmine Tea with Limes”:
“He didn’t watch where he was going,” I said. Tears rolled down my cheeks. “He ruined it, Mama. He didn’t watch, and now it’s ruined.” And I started crying like there was no tomorrow. But it wasn’t the dandelion that made me so sad. It was how I was like the dandelion, minding my own business, waiting to grow and be something. And he hadn’t seen me waiting.”
If you’re a teacher (like me) funds are in short supply at the start of the school year. And if you’re like Desiderius Erasmus (and all too often me as well):
“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.