It's a wonderful feeling when teachers are excited to see you come down the hallways. The wide-eyed expressions with expectant smiles and looks of eagerness to engage you in a conversation often bring me excitement. However, I have grown more and more disappointed by the topics of these conversations over the past school year. For example, I ran an errand on the 6th grade hallway yesterday and experienced one of these eager-to-see-Kristen encounters. The teacher was beaming at the sight of me and exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! I'm so happy you're here . . . " Of course, it made me feel wonderful and I couldn't wait to continue the conversation. She then continued, " . . . . come in my classroom and let me show you this computer that won't print to this printer and this computer which won't log onto the network and this computer that's running too slowly. . . and . . . and . . . . " (you get my point). It's not that I'm not eager to help people with technology trouble-shooting issues. One of my "additional duties as assigned" is that of a Technology Contact, so this type of conversation is part of my weekly routine. However, as these conversations grow more and more frequent, I find myself getting frustrated, even irritated, at teachers who are so eager to see me because they view me as a computer technician.
I CRAVE curricular conversations. I want that expectant look when I come down the hall to be a conversation starter for an exciting upcoming lesson plan or a project that we could collaborate on. "Kristen, I'm so happy to see you because we're starting Ecology next week and I'm really interested in bringing my students to the media center to find connections between the science curriculum and local ecology." Now, THIS would make me excited. THIS is why I became a library media specialist. THIS is what it's all about!
In these rough economic times, I am forever grateful to have a job that I love and need to remember that it's my perspective that needs to change. I need to be more proactive in encouraging these curricular conversations which I crave. "Sure I'll see what's wrong with your printer, and while I'm taking a look, what are your kids working on this week?" "Any big projects you're about to start?" "I'd love to come share some new books that we just added to the media center collection. When is a good time to visit?" Hey, I've already got a foot in the door (literally) by being in their "space." It may be the back way in, but it's still a valuable opportunity . . .