Integrating the Personal Factor – Effortless Really!

Since the start of the new school year, so much has occurred, and little reflection, so I begin to chip away at that now. Not sure I will make my goal of 30 000 views of the blog this year, but heck, I am sure going to try!

I have noticed about myself, as I go through life, (crazy as it is) in my head I notice realizations that I wish I would have paid more attention to. (Being in my head is a scary place, truly.) However, it helps that I actually push for time to have to reflect growth, and thin about these aspects rather than push push push so hard to do this do that and lose the reflection time, which seems to be as essential as sleep.

Take the whole stereotype of being a librarian. You know, the little ‘ol lady that just checks books and puts them way, dusty, musty library, hidden away from sight until you approach the desk, yadda yadda yadda. So what does that stereotype say about a man as a librarian? Or women in general about work? Or stereotypes we place about different types of work? (I think this could be an interesting thesis).

I realized at the beginning of school this year at ASF, that having come up through my Masters of Education with Technology and Library Studies, always seeing a fight for justifying the librarianship position, moreso in the United States,dismal reports of the position being reduced to save costs or having the librarian literally be a teacher, yearbook advisor and five other tasks to maximize the position (but in reality reducing the effectiveness of what the librarian COULD be doing) – I realized that actually, spending so much time justifying the position takes away from what librarians could be doing to show that is is required.

I was sitting in the initial MYP session paired up with educators as they planned their MYP unit for a particular focus. As I began to learn the texts, unit purposes, as well as questions that teachers would need to focus us, of course flashbacks of being an English teacher to over 30 in an AP class, then Advanced English, as well as a host of other English classes came back to me. As it should. If I could not use my prior experience as a teacher to help others as teachers now, as a librarian, what the heck?

What I walked away with was being able to show that librarians of 2015 and beyond are literally beyond stereotypes is easily shown, and with taking notes to go back and develop my curriculum based on MYP needs, my thought wandered to other places, IB needs AP needs, Common Core needs, Personal Project needs, MUN needs, and more. All I had to do was be there. Now I mean, you can BE there or be there. It is easy to say, I am at this meeting because it is required and be there physically and totally not mentally as you clack away at the keyboard checking Facebook, emails and so much more.
OR you can choose to let the info flow over you and sift out the info that requires you as a librarian NOT to have to fight for validity but take the sifted info and let it help others do their jobs easier.

I am realize that being a librarian for me was about networking. Learning when and who it is appropriate for to ease their job, as I was grateful for the librarian that did so when I was in the classroom full time as an educator. The limits placed on teachers in the states is immense I know, i felt it for 14 years and still marvel at the stamina, energy, and creativity that effective teachers maintain, and the lack of those areas that noneffective teachers hold.

Outside of the states, I also see this pressure beginning to creep up on teachers, though on a lesser level. Just as it is easy to know how to take so much info and direct it effectively to those that can use it in the classroom to ease their responsibilities (Go librarians!) – o it is the responsibility to be “on”, so to speak, all the time to not miss a beat and use that info to develop what a librarian still is morph into, in this age of faster than the speed of light info and technology.

Being a leader comes in many sizes, packages, and forms As a librarian, I have found being a “leader” is not usually meaning being the one in the front, but willing to be right in the middle to impact all of those around us. When someone said the other day “You have the best job ever!” – I responded with the things on THAT day that really challenged the notion. Yet, I always have to acknowledge, we have those days, and by learning to make the best of them, learning to love what it is that made us take this position we do, and give ourselves time to remember how we can be effective in that position and time to reflect on ll this, yes, you do have the best job in the world if you are able to do all that. If not, I have never had a qualm with leaving a job, sometimes with nothing left to go to, if your heart and soul is not into it for the right reasons (not pay, not recognition, not fame, not a stepping stone to get to a level that does not relate to what you are doing now) – sometimes we HAVE to do that, but that does not mean we love it inside.

I am lucky to be surrounded by people who take in my bad days, good days, smiles, as well as grimaces, and still allow me to move forward to help them and to show how cool of a job I am lucky to have. That pretty much is everything you’d ever want – and goes beyond any stereotypes anyone can create!

*Below are some links I think might prove helpful in that MYP course that I initially thought, what does this have to do with me? 🙂 A question we can use and relate to so many things in life!

KPI’s for librarians:
http://www.slideshare.net/webbmedia/key-performance-indicators-for-libraries

Notes from MYP that can tie to Librarianship!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9H9szfr_fRRdmZJTlMzcmNBM2c/view?usp=sharing

Common Core and the Librarian
http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/externalrelations/CCSSLibrariansBrief_FINAL.pdf

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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