Some words just feel good kicking around in your head and then rolling off your tongue. Vacillate is one of those words for me, and it perfectly describes how I feel about being a school librarian.
Some days I think, "I'm really great at this! I'm rocking the amazing job I've landed and really making dreams come true. The kids are LOVING the library, and I'm keeping all these plates spinning like a master." Other days, all I can hear are those plates crashing around me and the voices of self doubt screaming out my insecurities and shortcomings. Sometimes both scenarios present themselves within hours of each other.
Is it just me? This career (calling?) is not for the faint of heart. I love it because it is not micromanaged or defined day by day. I have always thrived writing my own script and shooting from the hip. The flip side is you find yourself looking out at an ocean of possibility and opportunity and you feel overwhelmed..sometimes even paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. "I'm not doing this the same way she is. My library doesn't look like his. Why aren't my kids coming up with deep questions? I'm not doing this right!"
Luckily, I tend to find myself settling back into the facts eventually. I love my job. I can't imagine doing anything else and feeling the same amount of satisfaction. I hope to eventually hit my stride and feel my self confidence grow more than my self doubt. I hope to reach balance with my personal life and the amount of time I spend obsessing school. #goals
If you give a librarian a pencil...
She'll notice it's quite dull and head to the electric pencil sharpener. She will realize someone has put the eraser end of the pencil into the sharpener, jamming the gears. She will head back to the workroom to get her tools from the drawer. Once in the workroom, the librarian will remember she has not washed out her coffee cup from yesterday, proceed to do so and begin brewing a fresh cup. The phone will ring with a teacher wondering if a child is in the library, so the librarian will do a quick sweep of the room to find said student making final selection. The librarian will assist with a brisk self checkout and then be asked where a book is about marsupials by another student. After a quick trip to the fabulous 590s, the librarian will notice that the football books have been tackled and begin to tidy the shelf. The librarian will find a random chapter book in the football section and head to the fiction shelves to return it to its proper place. On her way across the room she will notice a display needs refreshing and swing by the search computer to create a list of mystery books in various reading levels. While picking up the printout, she will remember the iPads need to be charged, so she will go back to the workroom to plug them in. Entering the workroom she will smell the coffee and feel focused. She will remember that she needed to make a list of things to do, and wonder where her pencil is.
Just like that. Five years. In some ways it feels like I just started grad school, trying to tap into my dormant college paper vocabulary after being immersed (and quite fluent) in Dora and PBS Kids for the past six years. In other ways, I feel like I've been doing this a lifetime and am finally past the second guessing EVERY library step I take and finally enjoying some professional confidence.
It is my hope to record these days moving forward. I want to be able to remember where I have been to more accurately move to where I want to be in the future. This is personal, but if someone else reads it and has an a-ha...bonus points!
Elementary school librarian full of wonder and a little bit of wander. Ok, some days a lot of wander.