Thursday, October 15, 2009

party poopers

No bright uploaded image here; it's wet and chilly in Montgomery County, MD and I'm in a glowersome mood.

I was looking forward on Tuesday evening to participating in the PTA-sponsored "Read-Along Pajama Party" event at my school--the perfect opportunity to introduce myself (new this year) and Pumpkin Butterfly to the community. I asked about selling copies and donating some of the proceeds to the school, and my supportive and savvy principal called to inquire what the rules might be about such a proposal.

The answer from The Office was something like, "Not only can your teacher not sell copies of her book, she shouldn't be reading it on school property. That constitutes a conflict of interest." So I went to the pajama party and read work by Calef Brown and Valerie Worth, by Marilyn Singer and Constance Levy, by Ralph Fletcher and Brian Patten--a lot of fun! And yet...

The part about selling books makes sense to me; fair enough. But the part about not reading, not teaching my own published poems to my class (or any other in the system, perhaps including those of my own children as a parent volunteer), doesn't make sense. Our curriculum emphasizes the writing process and the development of the author identity in our students, and writers and poets are invited in all the time to bring that process to life--isn't having a live, in-house model a good thing?

I think it means something that after sharing one single poem from Squeeze (which is approved for inclusion in the county's school and public libraries), half of my first-graders are working on poetry collections for our Publishing Party at the end of the month. That's the interest we want to protect and promote, surely?

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that you should be able to do both (read your poems and sell your book). We hire people to do that all the time. Why not you? If not at your own school, then surely other schools in the county.

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