Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm really a librarian

I've been a middle school librarian for a week now. It has been the weirdest and most relaxed first week of school I've ever had. EVER. I've been in school for 37 years. This one takes the cake.

It was weird because it was peaceful.

It was weird because I didn't have students to manage.

It was weird because I got so much done.

It was weird because I came home tired, but not exhausted. I didn't have a list of students I knew were going to be a challenge. I hadn't received 16 emails from parents wanting a conference before the first week was out. I came home confident in a job done well and not stretched wafer thin.

My days were quiet affairs doing paperwork, organizing, managing projects.

I had one day of awesome busy with meeting 14 classes and over 350 students. The rest went by in a quiet undulation of uninterrupted projects punctuated with a few teachers and students here and there coming by.

Next week my schedule starts. It will look a lot different. And I am excited. I can't wait to meet the other half of the school. I can't wait to make a difference.

The week culminated with Ryan's first Cross Country meet. He had fun. I wish I could have been there to cheer him on.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Librarian for a Week

This year I get the express pleasure of being a school librarian. It is the fulfillment of a dream and the commencement of a new stage of my career in education. I've been at it officially for a week now, and I have noticed a few things.

It is a lonely job. I'm not really a part of a team, though I am officially with the fine arts team. Most don't see reading as a fine art. These other teachers are committed to their programs, and rightfully so. It doesn't seem an especially tight group, if you get my drift. Everyone is very nice and kind and helpful, but there isn't the interdependence that I am used to after 20 years of being on a team. We don't depend on each other for our daily work life. And it feels isolating.

The staff doesn't quite know what to do with me. Because the campus didn't have a consistent librarian last year, they aren't sure what I can do for them. They are happy I am here. They just have their own specific jobs. I remember. As a teacher, I started considering the library about week 2 of school when I needed a 30 min break from the children. As the librarian, I want to help them anyway I can. So I remind them that I can help in the first few days and have already gotten some good resources into the hands of some exuberant individuals. But not many. I know I just need to keep talking the talk and being helpful and available.

My boss forgets I'm there sometimes. I mentioned that there wasn't a consistent librarian last year. It was also the principal's first year there. So having an actual certified, degreed, and capable teacher/librarian just a few steps away hasn't set in yet. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I love what I am doing! When I walk into this new place full of faces I recognize but can't put a name to, I get a rush. It's part fear and part hope. I love that I have the freedom to do things that I never had time for before. I love that my classroom has the most books in the whole school. I love that I will get to help teachers teach better and help students learn more. I love that instead of sweating data numbers and curriculum/time constraints, I spent my work days this week making signage to help students find materials efficiently and planning when teachers could come with classes. It's a breath of fresh air.

I know I'm going to like this new job. I can't wait for it to get started on Monday!