Job Title: Library Teacher / Instructional Technology Specialist
Education: BA in History, Wellesley College Master's in Education (MED) in Reading, Boston University MED in Library Science, Simmons College
Previous Experience: classroom teacher prior to becoming a library teacher and ITS
Job Tasks: I work in a K-5 elementary school in the public school system. As library teacher, I am responsible for implementing the school system's library curriculum. This involves knowledge of literature, skills in locating and using information from all sources (book, Web-based, etc.), and fostering a love of reading and life-long learning. Critical thinking skills are paramount.
As an instructional technology specialist, I am responsible for working with teachers to implement the school system's technology curriculum. This includes, for example, grade level appropriate hardware and software skills, ethical uses of information and the Internet, critical thinking and presentation skills. Additionally, I serve as the first line of defense/troubleshooting for technology related problems.
In their lifetime, our students will need problem-solving skills and the ability to work in cooperative groupings, as they move through the ever-changing job world. Library sessions are frequently planned with this in mind; students work in groups to solve problems and then present their work to the group. Demonstrations may be oral presentations or ones prepared with specific software applications.
A day is never typical! Yet, it most likely would include planning for and meeting with five library classes, assisting with one or two technology-infused classroom lessons, providing technology-based professional development training for one or more teachers, meeting on a school-based team, collaborating with colleagues citywide in either the library department or instructional technology department on a project, and being on call in the library to assist as students and staff have needs. A welcoming library is the heart of a school learning community.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Being in a school is fabulous! No day is like any other. One needs to be prepared in one's specific field of expertise and also ready to jump in to new areas as part of a school community.
The challenges involve not having adequate resources to meet the needs of students and not working in a state-of-the-art (or even close to it) facility.
1. Become involved in the school community - through study groups, committees, etc. - but be selective.
2. Take time to appreciate the students and your fellow staff members. You have a priviledged position.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare! This is both a daily thing and something that comes with continued study and inquisitiveness.
4. Always be a learner.
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