Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm having a really lousy morning. My 8 year old son cried his eyes out as he left with his sister and grandparents to go to the zoo because he wanted me to come with him. That's pretty bad.
I guess I am supposed to use this blog to organise my thoughts about the role of the teacher librarian. So far I haven't done much of that.
To be honest, before starting this course I thought of the TL job as quite peaceful. I imagined it as lovely to have my own domain and be able to potter away at relaxing tasks like reorganising bookshelves. I'm a little disappointed (to say the least) that the vision for a modern TL is so dynamic!
Having said that, though, I can't help myself from feeling a little bit excited about the possibilities for collaborative teaching and using innovative technology and methods in teaching. (Once an idealist, always an idealist.) In my teaching experience, I never had the opportunity to collaborate with others, share ideas, teaching materials and support one another. It was my biggest disappointment, and probably the main reason why I didn't last too long in the classroom. I had a lot to give, in terms of enthusiasm and ideas, and other teachers would have been lucky to have me to collaborate with. Their loss, but also mine, because I never felt happy as a teacher.
I also never taught in a context that allowed me to experiment with different methods and resources. It was just not done. The first priority was always keeping your classes under control. The second was getting them to pass tests. I used to be scared to even pass out compasses in geometry lessons for fear that the students would stab each other, and I could not be myself with students because they did not respect a smiling, young, female teacher.
Wow! It feels good to get this stuff off my chest. As a teacher, I never once even spoke to the teacher librarian or visited the library. (As a maths teacher that's possibly easier to understand than if I taught some other subjects.) I don't remember anything at all about the libraries from either of the two schools that I taught the longest at. I wouldn't have a clue what their collections were like, or what wonderful resources, help and support I passed up by not being involved with the TLs.
Might post again later today with more...


penszen said...

Well, I think I could have written this post, at least the part about feeling slightly disappointed about the role of the TL as I imagined it vs the super dooper dynamo that we need to be. And the desire to collaborate with other teachers. I've worked with a few great teachers who were willing to share but I always wanted more. My issue as a classroom teacher (primary) was wanting to get the parents more involved and the school not letting that happen.
Anyway, I like your style and look forward to reading more. Good luck with your sensitive 8 year old. I have a 4 year old like that.

Fiona said...

Thanks for the comment, Penny, it really helps to feel like someone's listening!