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.
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The challenge of change – it’s not easy for those making the change and those facing it. We do our job, but at the same time, need to move beyond our physical walls to grow. Continue to immerse yourself in your PLN, alternative ed. teachers and the PLC science teachers. Their vision will very likely match yours. Kudos to your forward thinking vision.
In any given situation we may “drop the ball’ on occasion when it comes to simple tasks; keep your eye on the big picture because that it is where change will happen and that is where each student will benefit from your integrity and hard work in the future. The small stuff is just dandelion fluff – blow it off and make a wish!
I love that analogy of dandelion fluff. I freakin hate dandelions! And the fluff is feeling a bit heavy right now. You’ve given me a visualization for when it feels deep. Keepin my eye on the big picture. Thank you Lisa.
It sounds to me like you need another virtual hug so I hope you can feel me sending vibes of positivity through these words <<<>>>
Oops I forgot those symbols actually mean something in html – my hug contained the words YOU ROCK! It’s been a long day here too.
Thank you for your encouraging words, Jeannine.
Great post. I’m discovering that many people are slow to embrace the new vision of libraries. You’re doing great!
I don’t think it’s a problem of vision but more an issue of empowering those around you to learn and take on these tasks. If you try to manage everything yourself you will do most things mediocre and fail at some.
To succeed you need to delegate responsibilities and create systems that work regardless of your presence at school. If you do this then you will give yourself plenty of time to change the world on a grand scale like I know you can!!