I had a pretty big blow out with my library-technician today as I had (admittedly) dropped one of the many balls I’ve been juggling this week, and forgot to set up some tech equipment for an incoming meeting.
It seemed to be the straw that broke the (metaphorical) camel’s back, as she complained that “I was never there!” Do you ever have the feeling that all the money given to specialized projects gets spent in April, May and June? Suddenly, it’s true, everything I’ve said yes to this year is meeting three times each in the next 10 weeks. Regardless, she summed up all her worries saying: “Your vision of the library is not my vision.”
This experience today combined with the fact that I have just finished the 3rd course of my Master’s in Education on Introduction to Teacher-Librarianship, and I am officially pausing for reflection. Am I out of the physical library too much? That reminded me of Buffy Hamilton’s post on leaving the role of school-librarian to do the work of a school librarian. I’m a renaissance woman…well-read, creative, presentational, techie, and more, and I certainly don’t do my job as a teacher-librarian any better or worse than anyone else. Yet as a novice teacher-librarian (going on 3 years in the role), I still struggle with how to best spend my day. I don’t even know if I have a vision. I just move where I’m needed and put my best talents to work.
The item I forgot to do this morning was to set up a document camera to the presentation computer for a cross-school math workshop. No one else knew how to find it or set it up. Is this my role? I guess it is, because I said that I would do it. The stuff from yesterday’s professional development staff meeting was left all out and not put away. It’s my space, and I should be taking care of it, but at what point do we all take some responsibility for shared spaces and shared equipment? Instead of connecting equipment and moving tables, I was presenting a potential new program in blended learning to a group of alternative education teachers. Guess what? They bought in and I’ll be missing three more days of school. I suspect that this work today will potentially affect all of their 150+students. But I still didn’t move those tables back.
If my work as a collaborative partner working to promote differentiated instruction, digital fluency and guided inquiry isn’t valued, then maybe I’m working towards the wrong goals. I know I spread myself thin by committing to a PLC with the science department, trying to reach each of our 85+teachers and aiming to be involved in initiatives all over the school, board, province, and country, but I really believe that I’m making an impact to a larger audience. Isn’t the point of our new learning commons model to be a presence beyond the walls of the physical library? I’m going to continue to ponder this quandary as I charge netbooks for tomorrow, and finish my GoogleDocs on religious art and e-portfolios for next week’s lessons, not in my library.