This form always weirded me out, before. I knew it was there. I was never asked to fill it out by any of my teachers: I went to a private school where we had to buy our own books. The last fifteen years of my school career, I always had kids write their name in the textbook, but that was about it. The other information was extraneous.
This year, I’ve spent about an hour filling out the information in the top part, and giving a number to every book. State, County, School District, and Other (the School’s name). It was kind of a lot of work, but given that I have new textbooks for two different subjects (American history and Latin), I’m thinking it’s necessary.
See, these books represent a substantial investment by my school in the education of our students. But the books are expensive enough that we shouldn’t want to replace them every few years. And kids (and their attached adults) should know that.
I should know it too. I’ve now added some critical data to these books. To whom they belong, and where they belong in space, and when in time. I’m hoping that the books will be more than a weight in the kids’ book bags. I’m hoping they’ll see them as a way to find themselves in history. And over the next six or eight years as we use these books, maybe there will be a little social lesson here too, and a collection of histories around each textbook.