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

New School Year and New Job

Peggy Hogan-Rao

   Hello, and welcome back to a new school year at SLIS. I have now been in this library science program for three years. I was originally planning to graduate with both my Masters of Library and Information Science this January with my certification to be a K-12 Library Media Teacher. As with lot of other things going on right now, that is not possible. I miss being on campus for classes, and so do the professors. My professor for my LIS 410 course on Library Services for Diverse Users did a live Zoom class with us last week, and we may have a couple more this semester. The “live” class sessions make it feel a little more like it is in-person. 

  As of early September, I have moved to a new apartment and started a new job. With public schools, there are some pros and cons right now for new teachers. The big downside is I could not find a placement for student teaching this fall. I came to this decision with lots of support from Melanie and Arianna in the SLT (School Library Teacher) program. Arianna and Melanie were working hard all summer to provide the best guidance for students hoping to do their practicum. Library teachers across the Boston area do not feel like they can support students right now, let alone feel confident in their own teaching ability with all the new requirements and the technology involved in doing hybrid or remote teaching in schools. 

   The amazing part about this safety crisis with COVID-19 is that there is a huge influx of teachers instructing students who choose a remote learning option. In many districts, such as where I now work in Wellesley, they had to create entirely new schools called Remote Learning School. Teachers are needed for the new virtual school and to fill in for teachers taking a year leave due to family reasons. Because of the lack of teachers, I was able to get a job as a library assistant in a wealthy suburb of Boston called Wellesley. Getting this job felt overwhelming at first because of the lengthy job description. By working closely with a career counselor at Simmons and looking over the Simmons Career Education Center’s resources for interviews, I was able to feel confident enough in my abilities to get the position. So many new changes recently, but all good things. I will keep you updated on how I balance my class on diversity with working in an elementary school library during these strange times.