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

Graduating Soon

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  Trying to graduate and get a job is my goal. One of the main reasons I chose Simmons University for my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) is because of the vast network of connections in the Boston area, and the 100% job placement rate for library teachers. Yes, you heard that right: 100%. I had two close friends in the program with me since the start of my studies in 2018, and they were both offered library teacher jobs within two months of graduating from the Simmons Masters in Science SLT program in May. 

  I’ve been put in the deep end struggling to stay afloat with my first library job in a Boston suburb, not too far from where I live in Newton. Creating a new process for book checkout with COVID restrictions (no students can browse the shelves in the library), book returns, safely quarantine the books, and lots of other details that were not a part of the job before COVID-19 came along. The teachers have to get used to having students at home on Zoom or Google Meet and teach students in the classroom – just a different way of teaching; for the library, the proper handling of books makes the job so much more complicated, as these changes are ongoing. 

   Just yesterday, I was sitting by a pond near my apartment watching the sun set with a dog swimming in the water. It was peaceful. Throughout the chaos of the world, I try to find the calm moments and smile. 

   There was a woman at the pond who told me she was a teacher. She asked me a question I will be asked a lot: “you have connections there, so why don’t you do student teaching in the district where you work?”  If only it was that easy. 

  To become a student teacher, you need to find a placement where the host library teacher will give you an opportunity to practice teaching lessons. A key component of student teaching is to create and plan out a 4-lesson unit to teach to a grade level. With the craziness of COVID, some teachers (such as in the school district where I work) may not be doing the same research projects they have done in past years. If I am to graduate in May 2021, I need to find a host library teacher in the next few weeks so that I can be registered for LIS 499 7-12 Library Practicum in the spring. It can be done. It will just be harder than in Pre-COVID times.