Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Finishing My School Library Teacher Degree

If I am not mistaken, this blog entry represents my penultimate contribution to the Simmons GSLIS admissions blog.  For I, dear reader, am exactly one week away from finishing my library school career after 2.5 years.  I am excited about that, but it’s also bittersweet, but that is not the focus of this post.  This post is about how I finished my high school practicum yesterday.  Yes, 150 hours, a 22-page practicum log, six lesson plans with reflections, 12 artifacts of different types, and a lot of paper later, I am done.  It’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment seeing this giant binder come together with its pretty colored dividers, the cover page, the table of contents.  I’ve taught lessons galore on how to find non-fiction books and generate keywords to run effective searches in the OPAC and in the Gale databases.  I’ve learned to use iPads and researched a dozen apps that have really, really cool implications for students with special needs.  I created a rocking pathfinder for students researching Romney and Obama’s positions on different key election issues.  I helped make the library website more aesthetically pleasing, rewrote the parent section, designed a beautiful poster on copyright and fair use, and made a YouTube channel for the library to house my two book trailers.

But the practicum experience isn’t just about what you do, it’s about what you learn, about the profession and about yourself.  After two practicum experiences and courses taught by school library veterans, I have accumulated a wealth of tips and tricks for running a great program.  I have developed my teaching skills and become more confident as an instructor.  I now feel fully capable of going to a job interview, talking about my accomplishments to date and the kind of program I hope to run, and then setting about creating that program.  Maybe some of this is idealism speaking, but I genuinely do feel like the knowledge I have gained from my time at Simmons has gotten me to this point.  And that is an awesome, awesome feeling.