January 2012 marks the one year anniversary of when I started my first position as a teacher librarian. In celebration and in way of thanks for all the help I’ve been given in that year, I am hosting a series of posts this month for new teacher librarians.
Today’s post is by Anna Zbacnik. Anna is one of the founders of the Caldecott Challenge. She runs the A to Z Library blog. Anna is a veteran teacher in her first year in the school library.
1. I miss the relationships I had with my students. I used to teach in the classroom. The mothering role has been difficult for me to give up as a librarian. I have been surprised by this. I feel more like a fun aunt than a mom. I still have an important role in a child’s life, but I am not the main lady. This has been hard for me, and also a bit of a stress relief with my own two small kids at home. I am patiently waiting for the relationships with my students to develop over many years instead of just one.
2. Learning the names of 720 kids is hard. Really, really hard.
3. It is awesome to be able to tell my husband I have to work, and go read a book.
4. Sometimes, I feel really alone. I am used to working on a team and collaborating about all of our subject areas. I miss that.
5. On the other side, sometimes, I wish I could be alone. Prep as a librarian is way different than that of a classroom teacher. People are always in the library asking questions and needing help (that’s a good thing!) After a couple of months on the job, I went to the mall by myself. I felt rejuvenated—I realized I had not been by alone since school started (except for my 5 minute commute). Yikes! I now schedule some alone time.
6. Blogs and Twitter are a great professional network. They are such a valuable tools if used to follow smart people. I have learned a lot in the short time since I joined these PLNs. There are a lot of amazing teacher librarians around the world sharing ideas.
7. Having a mentor to ask questions to and work through ideas is invaluable. Thanks LibLaura5!
8. The teaching part comes easy for me. I can write lessons and objectives and throw together a SMART lesson with no problems. I am slowly learning the ropes of the library management part. I have a really hard time collecting on lost books—thank goodness my assistant is willing to play the heavy.
9. I still have to do work at home—but I think it is way more fun to read book reviews, order books, create lessons, read, blog, and learn than correcting math papers.
10. I have the best job in the entire world. And….I get paid for it. Seriously, I get to buy books with other people’s money, talk to kids about reading, and teach students important life long skills. Could life get any better?!
Yeah for the library and my new gig. I feel like I have them best of both worlds—a librarian AND teacher.
Anna Zbacnik (a to z library)
I am a teacher. I began teaching in 2001. This role defines me as a person. With my new role as a school librarian—I frequently refer to myself as a teacher librarian. Teaching children is what I do. It is who I am. My title may have changed, but I have not.
A few years ago, I knew it was time for me to pursue my masters degree, and after much reflection I realized I was jealous of the librarian’s job—library time was my favorite part of the school day. I love information seeking skills and teaching them. I also love books and reading. So began my adventure as a librarian. I began teaching in the library this past fall and know that I have found my calling.