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27 January 2013 @ 06:35 am
Not right now  
In just a few minutes I will shower and dress and head out to complete the final task of the Odyssey Committee, the writing of the Press Release (and tune in Monday to see our winning title and honor titles at www.ala.org and the live web cast). For the past two days, the committee has discussed the merits of the audiobooks we believed represented excellence in production. Passion, play, and purpose were all evident in the room as the process unfolded. As always, once the decisions were reached, there was a noticeable air of celebration in the room. We cheered and we relaxed a bit more.


All of this is just prologue, though, to the topic at hand: NOT RIGHT NOW. While I read a couple of books on the flight here, there has been ZERO time for reading since the meetings got underway. That time crunch does not affect just the members of the committees here at ALA Midwinter. We all, from time to time, face those periods when there is simply not enough time. That is true for our kids, too, I believe. It is why giving them time at school in the classroom is essential. We need to make time during the school day for what we deem is most important. If we want kids to be readers and writers, then how we schedule time in class should reflect just that.

There is another NOT RIGHT NOW time, too. Right now, I want to take a short break and enjoy Seattle (and the tastes of Seattle and the museums of Seattle, etc.). I want to walk exhibits. I want to run into friends. And so, reading and writing will take a back seat today (and maybe tomorrow). That is how we operate out here in the real world, right? Sometimes we confess guilt because we have not taken time to read or write. Instead of worrying about needing a break, we need to just accept that some days are like that (and, as Alexander would not, even in Australia). And sometimes we need to give kids that same sort of break. We can mix things up a little by bringing in some audiobooks or downloading some eBooks or using some interactive book apps, or reading aloud for an entire class (and that could be done via audiobook as well). That little change might just be enough to get us all, kids and teachers, out of a slump.

So, listen to the announcements tomorrow. Find some of the winners. Read them (if you have not already done so); share them with kids. Rejoice in the celebration.