Friday, 13 March 2015

A day in the life of a TL

It always bothers me when people walk in to the library and happen to catch me in between classes and they say comment on how nice and quiet it is. It might be just me, but what I hear when someone comments like that is: Must be nice to sit in a quiet library all day and sign out books. It bothers me because I am very busy during the day. Even during the rare lulls I'm very busy, usually working on planning a project or reading up on books to purchase. Today I decided to document my day

Before school:
     Touched base with the secretary about the 5 students were withdrawing today. All 5 still had outstanding books that I needed to track down at some point.
     Made it to the library for the quick staff meeting only to find out a student was returning textbooks and wasn't one of my 5. Raced around trying to notify the right people about the 6th withdrawal (without paperwork)

1st block:
     Taught a lesson to the English 9 class about formal emails and attachments. Took a little longer than I anticipated but it also went better than I thought it would.
     Nipped downstairs and led an English 7 class up to return their literature circle novels. Book talked a table of new books, a table of dystopian books and a table of my recommendations.
     Back downstairs to grab a second English 7 class to do a book return and book talk.
     Grade 9 English class came in to sign out reading material for the break.

2nd block:
     An exact repeat of the first. English 9 lesson and 2 English 7 book talks and an English 9 class grabbing reading materials

3rd block
     Co assessed English 9 speeches which also took much longer than expected because of tears and a trip to the counselor.
     Restocked the tables for the final book talk of the day in 4th block
     Lunch presenters arrived to set up.

     Student arrived to present her speech.
     Much needed staff potluck lunch.

4th block
     Slated to teach the English 9 email lesson but couldn't.  
     Student writing a French test.
     Co assessed more English 9 speeches. More drama.
     Final English 7 book talk of the day. Phew.

5th block (assembly)
     Caught up on email (found out a student would be by in 4th block to write a test)
     Planned to work on a Socials 9 project
     Science teacher came by to collaboratively reflect on a project. We tore the project completely apart and sketched out the framework for the new version.
     Worked on an award application    

After school
     Chatted with a student teacher about planning a library project. Booked library time. Much more collaborative planning needed
     Tracked down the owner of a cell phone left in the library.

What this running log fails to capture is all the interesting conversations I had throughout the day. I talked to a Socials teacher about Socrates. I chatted about reflection and blogging with the Foods teacher. I talked about the collaborative planning process and how can we teach it with a Socials teacher. I talked about gold panning. I love working at my school because my colleagues constantly challenge me. They all think so very differently and thus they make me think about things and in ways I wouldn't normally.

The log also fails to capture what teaching is all about. My email lesson which I thought was just a review lesson was much more important than I initially realized. That 6th withdrawal today was a heart-breaker and I really didn't want to lose that student. I was so proud of that grade 9 student for finding me at lunch to do her speech. And I had many good conversations about books but one stood out.  I asked a boy, who hasn't really talked to me before, about a book he had just read. His face lit up and he started speaking so passionately that it was simply delightful to listen to him.

An exhausting day but an incredibly awesome day.

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