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High Expectations



I'm the new school librarian. This year, I'm trying out different things with the students. Some things are really fun and some things are challenging. One thing is guaranteed: The students are working for the full 35 minutes that I see them. I'm trying to do activities that make them think for themselves. We also do a lot of group work, so that they can take more responsibility for their learning. I do not baby them. Oftentimes, if they ask me a question, I ask them a question in response to get them to think about and come up with the answer themselves.
For example, a class came in and I asked them to get into their groups.
One child was left standing, while the others were seated in their chairs.
The child looked at me helplessly and said: "I don't have a chair."
I asked him: How would you solve that problem? and he easily grabbed another chair. "Great problem solving!" I praised.
I'm teaching students how to check out books and help each other locate books. Most of the students enjoy being treated as capable beings. I have very high expectations for behavior and I have recently added detention as a punishment. I praise often and I give rewards for hard work.
Some of the students have been complaining to their parents about how much work I'm giving them. The children are shocked at how I do not tolerate any misbehavior. The parents have never made an effort to meet me, but they do take the time to make nitpicky comments about me to the principal.
It's hard to change the view of library time is playtime...in the minds of students and parents.


Junior Member
God bless you. Every school should have a librarian who actually works, rather than just sits on her butt, yells at the kids, and collects a pay check. Keep up the good work, and remind parents and children that the library is another working classroom, just as their own classroom is.

NJ Teacher

Senior Member

You remind me of our own wonderful librarian. She has to do book checkout and a lesson in 30-45 minutes, depending on the grade. We are a K-3 school. Our librarian partners with us on research, and the students are responsible for working hard in the library, just as they are in any other classroom. I hope that the principal is in your corner. Our librarian has utilized parent volunteers to assist with the checkout and setting up for the next class (she has "table" books for the kids to select from in addition to having them locate another book of their choice from the shelves). This however is a mixed bag, because sometimes the parents just want to observe their child's class in action.


Librarians rock!

Librarians are usually just the best, most friendly, helpful people.....Our librarian is absolutely WONDERFUL and I'm sure we don't know what we'll do without her, when the sad day comes for her to retire.

We should have a feast day for librarians or something. :-)