From the Office of the Future of Reading

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program to bring you a message from . . .me. Back to our usual From the Office of the Future of Reading series next Tuesday!

When I was little, every May Day, we would make construction paper cones and fill them with flowers. Then, giggling, we’d hang them on neighbors’ porches, ring the doorbell and run away. Teachers, librarians, principals, lunchroom ladies, custodians, aides, playground helpers, school nurses: consider this post my May Day basket to you.

The first flowers to go in the basket are bluebells, which represent humility. Then I’d add bittersweet, embodying the truths you strive so hard to share with your students; and some camellias to show the admiration I have for you. I truly wish there was more focus on common courtesy and less on common core so that anyone in the classroom would daily hear the “thank yous” they so deserve.

Gladiolus are the flowers of gladiators and that describes you to a T: fighting against every obstacle that keeps even one of your students from experiencing success. I’d throw in some blue violets — not only because they were my grandma’s favorite flower, but because they speak to faithfulness, a very teacher-like quality. I’ve been in classrooms all around this country — this world!– witnessing the faithful efforts of teachers working to find the teachable moment for any given child.

Hyacinth are incredibly fragrant like the sweetness of a good teacher’s caring and dedication; this bouquet wouldn’t be complete without that flower. You’d all be driving Teslas if you didn’t spend so much out of your own pocket on books and supplies for your classroom and your students. 

Finally, I would add in some white zinnias. The white will make the colors of the other flowers pop, for sure. But white zinnias also represent goodness. I don’t need to explain why those are an essential part of your May basket.

So, please accept this small token of my appreciation. Each time in the past two years a teacher or librarian has posted here, I have been filled with admiration and pride. And tremendous hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And happy May Day!

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