The Responsibility of Working for Children

Nov 13, 2016

This past week I made another trip up to the Mazza Museum.  It is a truly magical place that is filled with children's book illustrations from so many of the "greats" that we all cherish and love.  One of my personal favorites being a scene from Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel.  Oh!!  I can just stand and stare for hours. 

Aside from the museum, a weekend conference was held that showcased the following artists:

Nikki McClure
Dan Santat
Brian Biggs
Tony Abbott
David Wiesner
Sergio Ruzzier

Each author/illustrator gives a 45 speech about their process, their path, their work, or anything else that they feel is important to discuss.  And what I have found is that you get something completely different from each presentation that you witness. The audience is comprised of librarians, teachers, college students, and other enthusiasts of children's literature.  See...magical.  The feeling in the room is just positive and the "good vibes" are felt.

But, unlike other Mazza conferences I have attended, there was an underlying message to some of the speeches that moved me and reminded me of my job as an educator.

I was reminded of the responsibility that I have working for children.  And the literature that is there to help me do it.  So what exactly do I hold myself responsible for when it comes to my students?  Well, here are a few things:

I hold myself responsible for helping each of my students believe that they ARE, in fact, readers.  And that even though it is hard, I will help them to get there.
I hold myself responsible for opening up the eyes of my students to the worlds within books.  There is such power in understanding that books can take you places, books can teach you things, and books can change you.
I hold myself responsible for putting books into the hands of my students that will hook them in and they will never want to let go.
I hold myself responsible for using books to help my students to understand the world around them: the kindness that can be shown, the opportunities that are available, and the possibilities that are all around them.

Sometimes we have to step back from the test scores, the lesson plans, the day to day routines and remember what we hold ourselves responsible for and what drives the philosophies that we hold.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to do that this weekend while being surrounded by the art of children's literature.



  1. Sounds like a magical weekend! I hope my students don't ever want to let go either!

  2. Lovely! What a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. You've created an inspiring list. I would agree with every part. I've no doubt that you do all of them with your whole being.


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