My older brother posted a posthumous Happy Birthday to my younger brother John, who passed away last year. He would have been 55 today. Wait, I thought, 55? No way, because I'm 5 years older than him. So that would make me.... never mind! Once in a while we get a wake up call like that. Reality. What are we doing with our life? Are we still making a difference? Who are we influencing and in what way? Do we matter or are we replaceable?
Our Media Specialists have been studying Doug Johnson's book "The Indispensable Librarian" this year and it has given us plenty of food for thought and fodder for discussion. We like to think that we are irreplaceable in our jobs, but life is fragile and we are learning that the lives we touch are more important than some of the stuff that we pursue. I'd rather hope that I'm the Indispensable Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Friend, etc. The people I reach in my job are more important than some of the stuff I tend to focus and spend my time on. Not to diminish the value of what I do daily, with lessons, projects, pursuing grants and other materials to improve the experiences of our students and craft of the teachers, but in the end, I want to have made a difference in their lives with the human factor.
While I can agonize over the rigor of my library lessons, my heart is lifted as I stand on dismissal duty at the intersection I call "The Perfect Storm": K, 1, and 2 meeting 3, 4, and 5. The Kindergarten students, following months of library lessons still make a rolling motion with their arms and say "round and round across the ground, making a thumping, bumping sound" from our October lesson on "The Runaway Pumpkin"...and I love it! So if that's all they remember, ok with me... they remember something fun from the library!
We're in unique positions as Media Specialists or Librarians. We affect all of the students of our schools, not just 18 or 24 or whatever the class size du jour is. And we influence all of the teachers, some parents, district officials and more. What's your message? How about letting them know that they are important, listened to, cared for, respected and supported. You know, the stuff you appreciate from the higher ups!
Let them know that THEY are indipensable to YOU!