Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ms Bixby's Last Day Blog Tour

I've been turning down all blog tours for the past few months. I simply am swamped and cannot add any scheduled posts to my plate. I know that next year, when I'm out of grad school, life will get a little less frenetic. However, right now? It's nuts. One might ask, then, what am I doing on this blog tour for Ms. Bixby's Last Day, correct? There were two factors that made me unable to turn down this tour. One, I simply love the book. And two, I got a chance to celebrate teachers. 

I have had many great teachers in my life. I've celebrated them on this blog before. From Ms. Tuck, to Ms. Flock, to Mr. Beccue, to Mrs. Lindsay, to Mr. Engle, and on and on and on. Here are just a few posts where I've written about them: HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE.

My amazing preschool, Farm School
What I realized,
when rereading these posts, 
is that I've stolen from my favorite teachers, 
and that's made me who I am today.

From a kick-ass read aloud voice from Mrs. Lindsley,
and the knowledge that your eyes can light up
and mesmerize your students with a story.
To a sharp wit from Ms. Flock,
humor mixed with sarcasm,
and a lesson on ironing shirts,
I still think through years later.
I soaked them up.

Mr. White gave me kind words,
when I was new to a school,
with so many kids I didn't know.
Mr. Beccue taught me that teachers 
should find the humor with their students, 
and it's ok to laugh.
Mr. Engle's passion for history became mine,
and I learned it's ok to nerd out over what you love.

And Ms. Tuck,
who I'm grateful to have found again,
taught me 
way back in first grade 
the importance of loving your students.
That kind words matter.
And that students will remember how a teacher
made them feel,
and might even be inspired to teach,
because of them. 

And while I haven't blogged about it, my first teachers 
were my parents.
Later my mom and I were colleagues. 
She, and my dad, 
had already taught me all I needed.
Their twin lessons were all about loving what you do,
and hard work.
There is no point in doing something,
Unless you do it well.

I see all of them in my classroom. 
I see them in me.
I even see my favorite school, 
Farm School,
reflected in my room.
A place to be at home.
A place to be comfortable while you learn.
A place where you are loved.

Our teachers teach us,
far more than we realize.
We are an amalgamation of all of those classrooms,
in which we've resided.

So while I'm celebrating the teachers I've loved, I'm also celebrating a book that made me think of the power of the relationships between students and teachers. Here you have the amazing teacher, Ms. Bixby. Her students have been given the sad news that she will be leaving before the end of the year, Ms. Bixby is battling cancer. Three boys in her class - Topher, Brand, and Steve - decide they must celebrate her in the craziest way possible. The book alternates between their voices and I loved each one of them as I read. 

This is a book about friendship, love, and growing up. I can't recommend you read it on a plane, as I did, unless you have some Kleenex handy. This is a book to treasure, to hold close to your heart when you're done, and then to hand off to someone else, because it's also a story to share. 

Additional Resources:
Read a free excerpt here.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day Blog Tour Stops!

6/2/2016 - Nerdy Book Club
6/3/2016 - Next Best Book
6/6/2016 - Walden Media Tumblr
6/7/2016 - Teach Mentor Texts
6/10/2016 - Flashlight Reader
6/13/2016 - Julie Falatko
6/15/2016 - About to Mock
6/16/2016 - Kid Lit Frenzy
6/16/2016 - The Hiding Spot
6/17/2016 - Unleashing Readers
6/20/2016 - Ms. Yingling Reads
6/21/2016 - Maria's Melange
6/22/2016 - Lit Coach Lou
6/23/2016 - Novel Novice
6/27/2016 - Librarian's Quest
6/29/2016 - Bluestocking Thinking
6/30/2016 - Mindjacked
7/1/2016 - All the Wonders