World Book Day is/was today. It’s an exciting date in the librarian calendar that, this year, almost skipped by without notice in my library and school. Why? Well because I didn’t shout it from the roof tops and encourage (force) staff and pupils to join in. There are a few different reasons but I think the main one is the staff all seem really busy. Seriously busy not just walking around with a pile of papers busy but actually run off feet busy. This is because the exams loom for the senior school and there are only 6 teaching weeks left! It may in part be because for the first year ever we had a week off in February.
I know, why would a week off be an issue? Well usually Feb is all about the build for WBD, getting staff and pupils on side, but this year February seemed to end much quicker than I expected (plus my S6 promotion helpers were distracted by prelims before the holiday). Plus for the past few years the World Book Day joy has been over shadowed by the Maths department and their desire to celebrate ‘World Maths Day’ which has been the day before, after and same recently. The whole department get the kids playing online games and even more annoying it lasts 48 hours not a mere 24 as any normal day would (I regularly joke that you think mathematicians would know how long a day is – to which they reply” yes but it’s a day around the world so the sun rises in one place….”). It’s hard to compete with international online gaming even if it is maths games.
Anyway in the end I opted for subtle and I’m running a ‘get caught reading’ promotion all month. You get seen reading a book in the library at break or lunch and you are in the draw for that week’s Easter egg (Cadbury’s of course). It seems to be working well and it has led to some surprising pupils being seen reading. There was also a paper quiz but that was unsuccessful possibly too hard but ultimately few seemed interested at all.
In short World Book Day for me at least was low on books. What it has had is drama. One of the S6 boys and I were having a chat about my role. We agreed that my spending time chatting and sharing information with the young people was important and being a friendly face was needed. We also agreed that while he was living proof that it can be positive (since he’s gone from banned to helping out) actually measuring this is an issue. So here are some highlights of my pupil interactions today:
1) Overheard “That is so gay- but not in a homosexual way” – prompting a wee chat about how that didn’t make it less homophobic language.
2) Explaining how to ‘find & replace’ in Word so a S6 pupil could change his best friends advanced Higher Geography project so that China/ Chinese was replaced with Cheese. The ‘cheese one child policy’ and the’ pregnant cheese mother’ had him (and I admit me) giggling far too much.
3) I untied a pupil who had been tied into his backpack (apparently it was his request, though he admited hadn’t thought through how to get out).
4) Explained that a joke is only funny if everyone thinks so and at no point is hitting someone in the windpipe funny.
5) Listened as a S5 girl with a swollen knee cried on my shoulder at the pain (I really hope she’s going to A&E tonight I did suggest doctors back on Tuesday when the tears started) – NB: the shoulder is metaphorical at no point did I touch said child or see her knee.
6) Helped solve the mystery of why the kid with OCD had two fewer books on his shelf than on Monday (someone had taken them out).
7) Was concerned to hear one of the pupils could be pregnant and passed that on to those who could help her (more worried to hear the potential father was one of the few kids I’ve banned).
8 ) Discussed why Rangers and Celtic players should play by the SPL rules rather than feel they can just act anyway they want. Tried to explain flip side to the whole ‘it’s just what you do’ attitude.
9) Sympathised with a pupil who’d burned himself while saving his jotter from exploding milk (next tonight ‘when science experiments go bad’) and laughed far too much when one of the girls made a jaw dropping comment and then hurriedly explained that she meant to think not say that.
10) Discussed a range of topics with a range of other pupils including cute animals, Justin Bieber and the fact that it was World Book Day but none of them knew.
Now how can I quantify that into a statistic?