Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Am I a "Stranger in a Strange Land"?

So the best part of the Memorial Day weekend was getting a chance to rest and recharge the ol' batteries for this last push through school.  Our district has time off during the year and therefore, we go about a week longer than most of the area districts.  It's such a teaser--summertime weekend of activities and then--back to school!  But as I said, the rest and recharge helps get through the final days.

And because I was rested, I had some random thoughts I thought I would share.  One idea I have been musing over is what exactly is my job?  I am a little unique in the library world.  For twenty years I was a language arts teacher and then for the last twelve years, I've been a librarian.  But lots of days I still feel like an English teacher.  Matter of fact, I sometimes laughingly tell people I'm an English teacher whose classroom happens to be in the library.

But in all seriousness, sometimes I wonder--do I have feet in both worlds?  I see the dichotomy in this blog and I've been asked the question, "Is this blog for teachers or librarians?"  Can't it be for both?  Because I feel like both--especially on those days when I'm working with my IB students on their research paper or answering a million questions about citation formats or pulling up research for kids who say "the databases have nothing in them for my topic"! 

I became a librarian because I thought I could affect more students than I could as classroom teacher.  But it's not as much of an impact.  Kids don't see me as a teacher or as someone who can help them.  I'm the librarian--the old dragon lady.  So would I have been better off staying in a classroom where I can directly see the influence I had on students?  Or do I keep plugging away in here, hoping my scattershots of help dribble out to the masses?  Or hoping that by helping teachers I can, indirectly, help more students?

One of the reason I made the transition from the classroom is because I was beginning to feel too old to deal with all the mulitude of issues teachers are responsible for.  But now, when I have over 200 kids coming through the library on a daily basis and kids doing projects of every shape and size, I have to wonder if the life of a teacher wouldn't be easier.

I'm close to ending my career in education at this point.  I think I only have about one more good year left in me so to even consider a classroom again is silly.  And I do love my classroom in the library. But I have paused to think, on more than one occasion here lately, maybe I am a stranger in a strange land, someone who doesn't quite fit either category.  But then again, maybe I'm just the future of teacher-librarians, with the emphasis on the teacher part.

Either way, I do love my job---but right now, I'm very glad it's almost the end of another year!

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