I recently finished reading Erin Soderberg’s delightful middle grade novel The Quirks: Welcome to Normal. In the book each member of the Quirk family has some crazy magical quirk that makes them unique: being invisible, the ability to rewind time, etc.
The Quirks was a perfect book for me to read this summer because I’m switching jobs. I’m going from a fourth grade teacher in Battle Creek to a third grade teacher in Parma. As I read The Quirks, I kept thinking about the quirks of my former students, and the quirks of the staff in Battle Creek. I thought back to a young man I had a handful of years ago that always paced as he read. He was an avid reader and an avid pacer. During each day of independent reading, I have no doubt that he paced well over a mile. While reading, I also thought of a student I had last year that always power walked into my classroom as soon as the bell rang and headed straight for my bookshelf that housed my teaching materials. He knew that that bookshelf was the first stop of any new book that I brought into the classroom.
As I continued to read, I started to wonder what quirks people saw in me. Are these quirks going to be missed, or will people be glad to see them go? I’m not sure how people feel about my quirks leaving, but I know that I’ll miss the quirks of both the kids and the staff at Minges Brook Elementary.
This week I’m on vacation with my wife in Tennessee. It feels a like the end of summer. I’m okay with that. I hate to see summer go, but I love the fall and everything it includes. As we head home on Monday, I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of time worrying about the staff party I’ll be attending on Tuesday. Will the staff at my new school accept my quirks? Will they find them annoying? Heck, what are my quirks? On the way home I’ll work hard to push my own insecurities aside and begin to think about all the exciting quirks that I’ll discover in the staff, and students of Parma Elementary.
Thank goodness I read The Quirks!