professornana (professornana) wrote,

sitting here thinking

My colleague and I spent the day working an exhibit booth at our state English conference. It seemed like a good place to have booth as many of our students in library science are or were ELAR students. When one person approached the booth we asked if they had any interest in being a school librarian. I have to admit that her answer took me aback. "No," she said, "I see what my librarian does. She works HARD. I think teaching English is easier."

Wow, she so got it. But other folks see librarians through different lenses. A former colleague likened librarianship to icebergs. So much of the work they do is below the surface, unseen.

I think the same is true for teachers, by the way. So much of what we do seems effortless to the outside world. I hear talk about the banker's hours we keep and out summers off (note that I have not had a summer off since I began working at the university). They do not see the time spent in preparation, the time spent in assessing, the time spent doing things that are NOT part of the job description. I saw a post recently on Facebook where a teacher took a student to task for lack of proper spelling. The student had written what was obviously (to me) a heartfelt love for a book she or he had just written. I saw beyond the spelling issue. What I saw (perhaps hidden in that iceberg?) was the beginning of a lifelong reader. Unfortunately, I also saw the end of that person's trust of the teacher as a person who might recommend good books or someone who might share the passion. Now I am not advocating that we never hold kids accountable. But if someone sends me an email after school hours raving about the perfect book she or he has found, I am not going to worry about spelling. I am going to focus on what to recommend next.

I know this post is all over the place, and I apologize. It has been a 14 hour day. I am drained but in a good way, from talking to colleagues, seeing friends, and a myriad of ther wonders from the day. Once I get back home from the conference, I might make more sense. For now, I plan to read until my eyes give out.
Tags: librarians, reading
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