Several days ago, I had the occasion to escort a class to the library for their weekly assigned session. Doing so, I observed a library teacher whom I described as harsh and abrupt. Today I learned how absolutely and completely wrong I was.
Fate put me in that library again for several hours. While I had an assignment for the day, that teacher had a student teacher in charge and didn’t need my assistance. She was kind enough to suggest that I visit the library to assist there because the library teacher had no assistant.
Said library teacher was cordial, congenial and extremely appreciative for my help. She also takes her role as book maven very seriously and responded enthusiastically when I referred to the library as sacred space.
Was she having a bad day when I encountered her the last time? Maybe. Was I tired or frustrated or preoccupied enough to misinterpret her child management techniques? Also, maybe. The only thing that we know for certain is that I was guilty of prejudging, misinterpreting or simply jumping to totally incorrect conclusions.
We exchanged pleasant conversation, worked cooperatively toward straightening her library and I believe that both of us felt good about the outcomes. She is a dedicated and compassionate library professional who was very sweet to the students who arrived in the library while I was present. Everyone won – the library teacher, the students who had additional support in the library and I.
The moral is pretty obvious. But in this case, indulge me for conjuring a cliché that is altogether appropriate for this situation. Never judge a book by its cover. Shalom.
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