The backstory: At the start of 2016, I pulled out my very favorite Miss Read book, Village Centenary. The novel is structured in months and each chapter explores a month in the year of a village school that is celebrating its 100th anniversary. This year, my own school is celebrating its 250th anniversary and as we think of our past and look to our future, I thought that Miss Read would make a lovely companion for me. For each month of 2016, I plan to read Miss Read’s reflection on the month.
Miss Read is a pseudonym for Dora Jessie Saint, an English author who wrote between 1955 and 1996. Her novels were tales of every day life in small English towns. Village Centenary is set in Fair Acre, an imaginary Cotswold community. As is the case in nearly all of the Fair Acre novels, the novel is written in the first person and it is through our narrator, school teacher Miss Read, that the story unfolds.
July with Miss Read
In July, Miss Read settled on the details of a celebration of her school’s 100th anniversary. As she planned a pageant to tell the story of the history of her school, I was at my school most days planning out our schedule for the coming school year. School is always about planning and yet the planning must prepare for the prospect of the unexpected, so it’s a mix of planning and flexibility that makes my school days a success. Miss Read would understand.