That’s one of the questions I’ve answered several times over the past few weeks. Other questions I’ve heard include “Why?” and “Seriously?” I’ve heard these in response to my decision to return to the classroom next year. I’ll spend the next few weeks packing up my office, finalizing my last inventory, and saying goodbye to the shelves of books that have been my home for the past four years. Then I’ll spend a lot of time preparing the classroom down the hall for my arrival as a science teacher in August.
I guess I’ll leave answering “Why?” for a future post. Right now, I want to highlight some of the things I’ll really miss when I leave the library.
- One of the best things about being a school librarian was the professional community in which I was involved. I was able to be involved in local, district, and state school library organizations that helped me become a better librarian and helped me better serve my students and teachers. Another equally vital professional community has been my online personal learning network. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with amazing school librarians through Twitter, Facebook, the TL Virtual Cafe (www.tlvirtualcafe.wikispaces.com), and by following great blogs.
- Sometimes they say, “variety is the spice of life.” Well, it certainly was the flavor of the day in the school library. I didn’t have to worry about getting bored delivering the same content repeatedly throughout the day. Every hour in the school library brought new challenges and new opportunities for me to interact with students and staff.
- Thanks to a personal learning community with members like Donalyn Miller and Paul W. Hankins, I have been encouraged and inspired to become more well-read than I have ever been. Even this summer I’m planning to attempt the #bookaday challenge again–reading one book for every day of summer vacation. Even if I don’t make my goal, I’ll be a better person for trying.
- Students are what the profession is all about, and I have enjoyed four years of serving and interacting with our students. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with students who have struggled in the classroom and those who have soared. I’ve been able to create an inviting space in the library where students want to be. These relationships are what made being a librarian enjoyable every day.
I could list the positive aspects of the library for days, but this list includes my professional community and my students. Those are, for me, the things I’ll miss most when I transition out of the library. Luckily, I won’t have to leave behind my personal learning network–I’ll just tweak it to include more science-related people. And I won’t have to leave the students behind; I’ll be seeing many of them in my classroom.
In my next post, I’ll look a little further into the “why” behind my decision. Until then, enjoy the wonder that is summer break.