Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

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School Library Teacher Life

So far, my student teaching experience is showing me that in order to work in a school, you really need to love what you do. The passion and dedication to this profession that I see in each of the teachers is incredible. I've also found that each day I learn something new from the kids. I tried teaching a lesson on kindness and a kindergarten student reminded me that it is good to have confidence in yourself. When I have trouble balancing doing chores in my house, and a fifth grader reminds me how important it is for everyone to help clean, that really resonates.

Another example of these amazing children is that a group of fifth grade students have a book club, which participates in fundraising. Before they start reading a new book, they do a service project to raise money for children living in a homeless shelter, who don't have books. Most recently, these kids were able to purchase 60 books to be delivered! How amazing is that? In case your wondering, the book club just finished reading The Bridge Home by T. V. Padma.

Balancing my technology class with student teaching is a struggle, but luckily I have next week off from teaching. I will spend the week working on my portfolio notebook that I submit to the Simmons SLT program director Melanie Kimball at the end of the semester, as well as working on small projects for my technology class. The LIS 460: Technology and the School Library Teacher course, is tailored for the needs of library teacher professionals. Next week will also be nice because I have a friend visiting from out of town to spend a long weekend in Boston. Being in the final year of the school library program keeps me busy, but as I said before you really have to love what you do. Each day of student teaching, I know this is the right career for me.

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Week 2

Last week, I started student teaching at an elementary school in Waltham. I have never worked an 8-5 job before, so the first week was quite a shock. Getting used to the routine of being at school at a certain time and working with different grade levels is a lot to adjust to in the first week. In the first couple weeks, I mostly shadowed the librarian to get to know the students and other teachers in the school. By watching the librarian, I learn about what books the kids like to check out and how to engage the students in a read aloud.

The hard part about committing so much time to practicum (student teaching) is balancing the one other class. SLT students at Simmons only take one other class with practicum, and it is usually an elective. This semester, my one other class is the required LIS 460: Technology and the School Library Teacher.

I was so tired on Friday night after my first week that I didn't get to any studying that night. It ended up being a Netflix and cozy blanket night for me! Friday afternoon read aloud with a third-grade class was extra difficult due to my stuffed up nose. I tried to take all day Saturday to rest, but that meant getting more behind in my technology class. By the time I started my work due Tuesday night on Sunday, it felt like a lot of reading. Let's just say, I was overwhelmed.

This semester, my goal is to learn time management and self-care. One thing that is becoming very clear to me is that student teaching will not be easy. It can be very stressful for many students in the program, even those who do not struggle with extreme anxiety. Grad school and student teaching aren't easy. But those small moments in the day when a student is listening to you get excited about research or a student is looking to you for help finding a book makes this journey to a teaching license worth it.

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