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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Busy Yet?

School has been in session for most of us for several weeks. If your environment is like mine, you are beseiged with opportunities to help, classes demanding more frequent check-out’s, and requests for lesson collaboration. It is exciting to work in an elementary library.

Every morning I have my own schedule planned visually in my mind. At the end of the day, I compare the actual activities and am always amazed at the difference. There are tasks we must accomplish, emergencies that arise, last minute demands for books from new student teachers (which we love to fill), and individual students who need us. We find copy machine disasters, computer problems, and substitute teachers needing last minute ideas. No day is like another.

Thursday morning I had 13 classes in the morning needing to check out books before the library closed to set up for the book fair. I had eight teachers who needed last minute collections of books gathered for their classroom libraries because they were so busy testing, they forgot. I was on the phone with Renaissance Learning attempting to rebuild the test database after the new PC server crashed (my Mac server never did!) and reinstalling downloaded orders for the past 12 years. I directed 7 volunteers and we set up our 13-case and 50 box custom book fair. I also darted in and out of classrooms to show teachers how to connect to the AR and STAR servers. Two classes needed last minute instruction on storyboarding and evaluating web sites so they could prepare for open house next week. My assistant wasn’t there because she is only half time and was at the other building. I still had duty before and after school in the hallways and doing busses.

Friday morning the PTA and I provided breakfast for the teachers’ preview of the book fair and Wish List preparation. I had 14 classes come in to preview and dealt with a number of teachers who have not yet learned how to operate the TV and DVD players to preview the video. (Do you sense some exasperation there?) I called upon technology leaders to be on stand-by to answer those questions and watched two fourth graders showing the teachers how to operate the DVD player. Then I did my after school duty.

Monday I have 16 classes planned to preview. My previews are very labor intensive as I focus on teaching genre skills, noting award winning books & those on the state award list, and building reading excitement for personal life-long interest while we tour the entire bookfair and direct them to the appropriate starting points. Every child leaves with a wish list so volunteers are utilized to help record kindergarten and first grade wishes. Simultaneously I am flitting around helping point out new books to teachers and reading aloud snippets of new titles.
The calls for help from teachers, technology needs, and server maintenance constanting occur. Since I am focusing on working in quadrant 2 (Steven Covey), I have planned time set aside for important, but non-emergency tasks, also. Teacher planning afterschool. Preparation for inservice training on Tuesday. Parent communication. Answers to the new administrators. Lesson support and leadership for new student teachers.

My job is demanding, high-stress, and constantly changing. Yet, I know the library media center is busy because what we do is vitally important to our students. Our positive impact, academic support, and strong instruction is essential for our students. I wouldn’t trade my position. Would you?