Summer School Blues

I am working summer school.  The last two days have been especially hard.  I tried slicing about it.  Usually when I slice, I write my uncensored thoughts first and then edit the bits I wouldn’t want an administrator to see later.  This time I had trouble even committing my thoughts to text and whenever I did get something down, I’d erase it.  I was left with just a few lines, one of which was, “I am allowed to go to he bathroom occasionally”.  Seriously, friends, if your school has a one-person library, and you drop in unannounced with your students, you may find a sign on the desk indicating that the librarian will return in a few minutes.   Upon her return, it is not particularly kind to grill your colleague as to her whereabouts.

Your colleague in this hypothetical one-person library also may not take a lunch break.  If you see her shoveling a Special K bar into her mouth, she would be appreciative if you would consider giving her a minute to chew and swallow, if not the whole bar, at least the bite she has in her mouth before asking her to do something.

You also might want to consider that, if your school has a technology specialist,  while your librarian might collaborate with this teacher frequently, the librarian does not keep tabs on the technology specialist’s activities.   Instant messaging is a good way to get the technology specialist’s attention.  Pressuring the librarian to get you items out of the technology specialist’s closet and/or desk is a bad way to get the technology specialist’s attention.  If your school doesn’t have a technology specialist, and the librarian in the one-person library is also attempting to fill that role as well, you don’t have to worry about being nice to the librarian, unless the librarian is terrible, because if the librarian is not terrible, she will probably find a better job somewhere else.  The better job may include a library assistant, a colleague in instructional technology, or both.  

Assuming your librarian is not terrible, she will try her darnedest to help you and your students when you run into an unexpected problem, like say, oh, paywalls on newspaper web sites.  You may wish to consider mentioning a project using information sources to your librarian before you get started on it with the students, because not only will it make the librarian happy, she may well be able to anticipate things like paywalls on newspaper web sites.  In most cases, she could put together a lesson on how to retrieve the desired content through resources to which the school already subscribes.  She might even have some news-related Google and Twitter strategies she would love to share with the students.    While your librarian in the one-person library will likely manage to throw a lesson together in-between helping other classes and checking out books to them, she will do a much better job on the lesson for your class with slightly more than 20 minutes notice.

This all assumes that your librarian is not terrible.  It also assumes your librarian exists.  I am grateful to work in a school system in which there are full time librarians in most of the buildings.  I am grateful that, during the year, I work in a busy library staffed by not just a librarian, but two librarians and a library assistant.  Most of all I am grateful that the classroom teachers in my home school plan ahead and include librarians in the process.

There is a story about my day in here somewhere.  Even if it is hypothetical.

4 thoughts on “Summer School Blues

  1. We really need to take more time to thank our librarians. They work so hard.

    It’s good to write about things that can happen. Helps us walk in another person’s shoes.


      1. Our conversation has reminded me that I should send a note to our librarian at the beginning of the year! ❤


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