Module 2: Learning Log 3

25 Sep

One of our assignments this module was to do two library observations.  Since my teaching schedule would allow me to see a HS lesson during my prep, and a ES lesson at the end of the day(the ES is right “next door” no real chance to see MS unless I got a sub) this is what I did.  I knew what to expect from the HS lesson.  I know our librarian, I know the English teacher who brought her class in, and once the class started filing in, I realized I knew most of the students.  Going to the ES and viewing a Kindergarten class was a “culture shock”!  Here are some things that stuck out to me most

– The excitement and pure joy of the students.  Granted, there are times our HS students are really excited about the things they do in school.  I always enjoy doing simulations and debates with my students because they get into it.  But, HS kids are still worried about looking cool in front of their peers.  They will not exclaim out how happy they are about the book they’ve signed out of the library or giggle out loud listening to a read – aloud.  (Not that many HS teachers do read alouds..).  These Kindergarten kids have a zest and joy for learning every minute while our HS kids seem a little tired out and pressured into continuing to learn.

– The powerlessness teachers and librarians feel operating under a fixed schedule.  Whereas I can walk into the library during my prep or lunch and find our librarian or the library aid, an elementary teacher doesn’t really have the same opportunity.  Even if the librarian or aid is with a class I can most likely pull her away for a second because the classroom teacher is also there with her students.  In the case of the elementary school, the librarian would be on her own with the students because library time in the teacher’s prep.  After speaking to the ES librarian, I know she wants to do more collaboration, but she and the ES teachers feel so pressed for time.  On the class discussion boards, I noticed many of the ES teachers and librarians discussing the limitations of a fixed schedule.  I read the posts, but didn’t really understand them.  Now, I have a lot more sympathy for ES librarians and teachers who are on fixed schedules.

– Though I haven’t observed any MS classes, now I know I defiantly feel more comfortable in a HS library.  When I took Children’s Lit, and really enjoyed it, I thought I might have a chance in an ES library.  Now, I realize I’d be really out of my league.  I feel that I have a fairly decent understanding of the HS curriculum at my school (and if I switched schools, would be able to apply what I know about my curriculum to the new one) and I understand the mental/ developmental/ social abilities of HS students.  I feel like I’d have to spend a lot of time shadowing teachers/ students in an ES to feel comfortable as their librarian.

 

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One Response to “Module 2: Learning Log 3”

  1. slm509bse September 27, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Kimberly,

    Thanks for sharing your perceptions about elementary school from a high school teacher’s perspective! I am someone who started out teaching high school, was moved to middle school because of a decline in the high school population (I hated MS at first but eventually grew to love it) and then got my librarian position in an elementary school. Working with K-5 students was a bit of adjustment at first, but I quickly grew to love, as you describe, the sheer exuberance of this age group! They have an unabashed love of reading and get so excited about the smallest of things, such as the aardvark puppet I use to go along with a story they read.

    I’d love to know if there exists any data as to how collaboration in the elementary school compares with that of higher grades. Are the teachers as enthusastic as the students?

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