Just as our Year 6 students leave St Martin’s at the end of each year so they can continue to learn and grow, it’s time for me to leave so I too can continue to learn and grow as a teacher librarian with new experiences and challenges…
I was lucky to join the wonderful St Martin’s community in 2000 as a Year 3 teacher. In 2002 when Mrs Smith retired from the library, I was excited to return to being a teacher librarian again. Little did I know of the adventures ahead, including packing and moving our library twice, operating the library in the GECCO for two years, celebrating the official opening of our brand new library and only six weeks later part of the ceiling collapsed during the Christmas Day storm in 2011 and flooded the library. One of my favourite memories happened not long after we moved into our new LRC when we had a visit from a kangaroo on Top Yard. Life is never dull when you work in a school library!
The students at St Martin’s are my ‘School Family’ and it has been a privilege and a joy to be a small part of your reading and learning journeys over the past 15 years. In that time we have shared hundreds of books; welcomed authors; held Book Fairs; celebrated Book Week; gathered for Story Nights; participated in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge; read for the Yeo-low Medal; had fun doing Creative Library Challenges; begun our mornings with BRB @ the LRC; enjoyed Lunchtime Library activities; tweeted with authors on Twitter, learned how to to use Infiniti, search with Google, evaluate websites, avoid plagiarism and keep safe online; and we have connected globally via our LRC Blog where we have collected lots of wonderful library memories since I began blogging in 2009…
Lots of our Book Week celebrations over the years have been captured here. In 2015 every student contributed a light bulb to our Book Week display and we celebrated Stories Light Up Our World @ St Martin’s with our first Story Night (a dream I had for a long time). In 2016 we saw lots of fabulous Australian book characters in our Book Week parade for Australia; Story Country. This year we celebrated Book Week 2017 with our Escape to Everywhere Story Night and 400 parents and students enjoyed stories read by our wonderful teachers on a wintery Melbourne night.
Some of the authors we have been lucky to enjoy visits from over the years include Socceroos’ goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Neil Montagnana-Wallace , Jacqueline Harvey visited us on her very first book tour for her Alice-Miranda series. Our whole school had one of the best days ever ‘Kicking Goals for Readers’ with Felice Arena, Adrian Beck and Michael Wagner . One of our Year 3 classes enjoyed a Google Hangout with Tania Ingram who lives in South Australia. Kathryn Apel visited from Queensland and inspired us to flex our poetry and creativity muscles to paint pictures with words while Anna Walker shared her delightful collage and water colour illustrations with the Junior classes.
Some students have also been inspired to go along to meet their favourite authors including Jeff Kinney, Michael Wagner, Jackie French, Andy Griffiths, Judith Rossell and Sally Rippin.
The Premiers’ Reading Challenge and the Yeo-low Medal
Our school has been participating in the PRC since 2011 and it has been wonderful to see students challenge themselves to read more and to read a wide range of books each year. Some students have eagerly participated in the PRC each year and all are acknowledged for their fabulous reading effort. Yes, you can win medals and trophies for reading!
We have our author friend, Adrian Beck to thank for our our very own Yeo-low Medal reading challenge that combines our love of AFL football and reading and I’m honoured that it is named after me! Students complete a reading Scavenger Hunt (usually based on the Book Week theme) to have the opportunity to win either an AFL Indigenous football or the coveted Yeo-low Medal for Best and Fairest Reader. We have enjoyed celebrating three Yeo-low Medal Award ceremonies in 2015, 2016 and 2017
Over the years we have had lots of fun reading and being creative in different ways, including counting our school Reading Minutes for a week, creating levels for a 38-storey Treehouse, making funny faces for ‘When the Wind Changed’, raising money for books to send to Bangladesh with Monster bookmarks and Hugless Douglas hugs, wearing PJs on Champions Read and DEAR day, making a huge 124 flavour ice-cream, posing for our Shelfies @ St Martin’s Challenge, enjoying #Reading IsFun with Pig the Pug, showing our Library Love @ SMOT, trying Blind Dates with Books, unleashing creativity with a Bookmark Bonanza, enjoying Year 4 Sleepover stories in the LRC, travelling with Pig the Pug on holiday with Miss Y, sharing Pig the Pug with Mrs Hembree’s library in Seattle, meeting Andy and Terry at the studios at Kids’ WB, making a life-size book cover with Adrian Beck, having fun painting dinosaurs with chocolate icing, tweeting with Felice Arena as we read his books and many other every day happenings in our LRC that have been captured on our LRC Snapshots page. You can enjoy taking a ‘trip down Memory Lane’ looking through the 167 blog posts on our LRC Blog any time…
Thank you for 15 wonderful years in our library and for all the times you have made my heart sing. I have loved being your teacher librarian at St Martin’s where our library is the heart of our school and where I know a piece of my heart will always remain…
My hope is that each one of you will continue to READ, to be curious and creative and to be the best person you can be.
‘I wish you more stories than stars’ (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)
Miss Y x