Teaching Opinion

Take This Job and Love It—Middle Grades

By Deanna Harris — April 20, 2007 1 min read
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Library media coordinator
East Cary Year-Round Middle
Cary, North Carolina

When the professor of my “Managing the Library Media Center” graduate course asked us students why we wanted to be library media coordinators, I could have waxed passionately about my love of young-adult literature or my desire to work with more than just one classroom of children or my interest in integrating information skills into all curricular areas.

Instead, the comic in me responded: “I want to be a library media coordinator so I can go to the bathroom anytime I need to.”

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While that comment garnered a laugh, it is with no shame whatsoever that I admit that my career move from language arts classroom to library media center was, among other things, a very practical one.

Between exciting book talks with students, lessons on using search engines and online reference sources, and workshops on reading and technology with my colleagues, I’ve indeed been afforded the lavatory breaks I joked about.

But the move has also provided other challenges and satisfactions, such as exploring reading in all content areas; fostering an appreciation for literature among students and fellow teachers; influencing curricular policy; and developing myself as a teacher-leader.

I’ve also been able to use my strengths as a “big picture” person, a maniacal organizer, and a bona fide multitasker. In addition, there’s a constant demand for strategic planning as I improve the library media facilities and collections and, ultimately, improve student achievement and teaching quality.

So, after almost three years of coursework, I received my masters in library science and my own bathroom pass.

While I do miss the daily contact and closeness of a few groups of kids, I’ve been able to teach an entire for the past 10 years! And, yes, my bladder is a little bit happier.

A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2007 edition of Teacher Magazine as Take This Job and Love It—Middle Grades


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