- Jane Wheeler
Perspective From the Library
Oh my, the time has flown by from September to now in the Library. If anyone had told me last summer that I was going to be a Librarian at a High School I would not have believed them!
The students have endeared themselves to my heart and I will miss them if I continue on my way. I am not sure what is going to happen, God has not given me a clue what the fall holds for me either.
We have our Grad ceremonies in 3 weeks and a week past that Awards night and then final exams.
I realize now that the main goal in the Library is for me to be a "mom", love and guide more than anything. I am the only person who can take cell phones away because they are writing a test (I do enjoy this part maybe too much - watching them squirm when their phone vibrates and not being able to jump up and see who is texting....).
There is a "language" rule in the library and I enforce it! Love it when one of my regulars lets a word slip and I look up and say "Language!" and she shoots back - that it was not a swear word, it was 'butterfly' in "Afrikaans" (she is from South Africa).
I will miss the hugs that warm my soul and the stories that entertain and make me giggle:
One of my regular Library attenders was telling me that out on their farm there is a dead moose carcass. The neighbor had spotted bears in the area and her family had spotted a group of coyotes coming in close. She said that she was feeling afraid to go for a walk on the property with animals coming in so close.
The authorities had been called, had come but the moose was too big for the winch they brought, so there it sat.
She told me that when she had gone for a walk one day she had looked for the pepper spray but could not find it so she took the Lysol instead.
This made my head whip around. “The Lysol?” I asked her.
Yes the Lysol. I commented that it would be a clean bear then, very sanitized.
She replied that she figured the bear would get distracted by the lemony scent giving her a chance to escape.
Bless her heart – she was serious! I told her that possibly she should find something different.
My heart goes out to the students who struggle to be "students" - learning does not come easy to them but they try and give it their all to just get a passing grade. Then there are those elite learners who dominate the "honor role". Or the loners who seem to have no friends and come to the library to escape the crowded hallways.
We had a writing contest in the library and wow can some of these students write! It blows my mind the imagination and degree of thought some of them give to their stories.
I have learned that a good deal of the students have a lack of hope and meaning in their lives. I have heard teachers say that this is a different generation and they do not know what to do with them. I have had teachers come in to the Library and tell me kids are playing games on their phones and one girl is painting her nails in their class - and this teacher was complaining because the kids are not listening.
I have a new appreciation for our teachers - they work hard and put up with a lot. In many students there is a lack of commitment or work ethic. They think nothing of skipping class or taking days off - they know they will pass and you know they probably will. There is no failing these days. The only time this will become a problem is when a College or University bases entrance requirements on their marks. Many will come back for upgrading and re-do's or drift off into life instead of continuing their education.
I read today a letter from one of our "honors" kids, he wrote it to a scholarship committee and he asked me to proof it. In Ireland and in Germany they had a course load of 9 major courses per semester - no electives - core courses, including 3 different languages. I was listening at the same time to some of our "Canada" students complain because they had 3 courses (and 1 spare) and it was too hard! It was enlightening to see the difference in expectations in the different countries and the value difference the 2 cultures have on education.
At a staff meeting a couple weeks ago we were told they they are introducing a new course for Grade 10's - they have realized that students do not have keyboarding skills anymore. Texting does not cut it apparently in the essay and keyboard department so we will be playing catch-up.
I was introduced to a 15 minute video clip that describes this generation - affectionately named "millennials" even though many "millennials" hate being labeled thus. Simon Sinek was able to put into words what parents, teachers, employers and students are feeling, the tug of war on both sides. He gives some remedies that must take place to help these young people mature into the next generation. It is well worth the 15 minutes so please take the time to watch it.
Link to Simons video interview: