As I sit here writing this, I gaze out over my library and can’t help but shake my head. Why? Because there’s so much confusion going on from the students and teachers that all you can do is shake your head. Benchmark testing started this past Monday and it has been quite an experience. Between the Internet having issues to filter troubles, it has caused a great deal of frustration from everyone. So in this post, I’m going to discuss school woes. This is such a broad topic, it may take quite a bit to cover.
First thing is first, let’s start with my personal woes as a librarian, specifically as a school librarian. It seems like some faculty members think I don’t do anything. Literally, I had a teacher tell me yesterday, “What do you do that makes you busy? I walked in and saw you just trimming passes the other day.” My response? I went into my office, cried it out about how rude this teacher was, and then collected myself enough to inform the principal about what happened. Yes, I know I need to grow a thicker skin, but that comes with time, not something that is developed during the first year of working in a school; right now, I’m sensitive and take things personally, even though I know I shouldn’t. But that really hurt, especially since I know other teachers think it, but just haven’t said it to me. It’s true, she saw me cutting out library passes, but that was just one moment when I couldn’t do anything else because of benchmark testing. Moving on…
Next thing deals with teenagers and their attitudes these days. I love working with young adults, but it’s not as easy as I originally thought it would be. Literally, once again, several minutes ago, I had a young lady shout out in the library, “Stop calling my name! I’m doing my work, stop calling my name, and get out of my face!” to her teacher. I’m sorry, but when I was a teenager and a student in school, I never would have dreamed to talk like that to an adult, let alone to anyone else. Where are these attitudes coming from? The teacher merely asked the student to focus on her test because she was talking to her neighbor. Honestly, I’m glad I’m not a classroom teacher, even though I have my teaching license; I seriously do not think I could handle being in a class with teenagers these days and that’s what is so terrible…teaching is what I spent my undergraduate career studying and now I never want to be in a classroom. How awful is that?
One final thought: overdue books and late fines. Seriously, how hard is it to get a book in by its due date and, if you have some, why are late fines just so terrible? I checked my circulation’s report yesterday and there are 103 overdue books/late fines that haven’t been dealt with yet. What? And when I go to deal with these issues, I receive backlash. Luckily, my administration supports what I’m doing, so I’m very thankful for that. However, I have students and teachers who do not appreciate my implementation of late fines. Well, how else am I supposed to get the message out that these books NEED to be returned? Just saying, “Oh pretty please return your books” does not work, believe me, I’ve tried. And I feel like I’m pretty fair with my system: there is a 3 week checkout time span (and you can renew up to twice…so that’s NINE weeks with a book if need be), and if a book is overdue, it’s 10 cents per day, though I do not count weekends or breaks and I give a two day grace period after the due date. That’s pretty darn fair, don’t you think? Apparently not so much with the school population. Another moment to just shake my head.
Really, these are just some current issues I’m facing with my position as (new) high school librarian. I’m still trying to deal with them on my own, but because I’m not entirely sure how to deal with them, I get stuck and feel awful about everything. I love my job, I really do. It’s what I want to do with my life. But I really wish there had been a warning on the job description that said, “Warning: this job may include bouts of negative energy from time to time. Please be prepared to deal.”