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

School Libraries

Book Reviews!

Amie Grosshans

This semester we are required to write three book reviews and post them to our class Google site.  We can read any YA books we want, but one of them has to feature a minority and/or LGBTQ+ character and one has to be a non-fiction or an informational text.  There are two parts to the reviews: the first is a very short blurb, two or three sentences, that explains the gist of the book, and the second is a more thorough review.  I have written one review so far and am working on the second.  Surprisingly, I had a much easier time writing the small blurb than I did the full review.  For me, it was fun to think of how to condense the book down to two or three sentences.  It forced me to think of the overarching theme of the book and what the main character is experiencing.  I knew I only had a limited amount of space to use and that helped me focus on the most important details and themes.  I love playing with words, so I really enjoyed…


Skills learned from SLT

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  I am so close to being done with my studies at Simmons. When I look back at my courses at Simmons, I feel like all I want to say is thank you. I have one step into the door of working professional and one foot still in the door of graduate student. As I am slowly creeping into the role of a library teacher, I am using the skills that the Simmons School Library Teacher program has equipped me with to be a library assistant in an elementary school library.     In my LIS 406 course Management of School Libraries, I learned valuable skills in outreach to the community. When you work in a school library, it is good to partner with local bookshops for book orders, but most importantly the local public library. In the school where I work now, we are working very closely with the public library’s children’s librarian to give children access to information resources.     LIS 461 the Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the SLT (School Library Teacher) gave an overview of…


Still in Boston

Peggy Hogan-Rao

It’s been over two weeks now since everything changed, starting with St. Patrick’s Day being cancelled. A lot of my friends went back home to their families during this hard time, but I am still in Boston. My parents keep asking when I will go visit them, but considering I am from Upstate NY, where there are a lot of cases, it is a bit scary to travel there. The hardest part is knowing that there are COVID-19 cases in my hometown in the Albany area. This is real, and so close to home now. I am not completely bored in Boston, as we are in the home stretch of the semester. When I get all of my work done for student teaching, I hope I can find a way to see my family. Today, I had a video call with my online technology class. It was my first time connecting with these classmates over Zoom – so nice to see their faces! The video call was a tutorial on how to prepare for doing…


A Day in the Life of a School Library Teacher Student

Peggy Hogan-Rao

It’s the first week of classes, and yet all I want to do is stay under my blankets near the furnace. The average temperature in Boston right now is in the single digits, with the high being 15 F. This is Boston in January, I guess. As much as I want to stay under my blankets, I need to clean off my desk and sort through all my reading. For a library school student, you may be surprised to hear I am reading a guide on student teaching (also called Practicum Experience) requirements, CAP Guidelines as assigned by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Evaluation for Educators regulations as set by DESE, Waltham Public Schools’ Kindergarten Curriculum for Information Literacy, and a syllabus for my online SLT Tech class. I am almost done with my school library concentration and well on my way to becoming a certified school librarian. My placement is at a school in the far north part of Waltham, so a bit of a trek. Getting out to Waltham…


Week 12 — Almost the End of Another Semester!

Peggy Hogan-Rao

It’s Week 12, which means there are only a few more weeks left of this busy semester. Although I do need to start planning for my elementary practicum, the semester is still manageable. I only have 2 big papers and one project left until I’m done with the fall semester! At this point, it can be a struggle to not take a nap once a day or every few days. I also need to remind myself that leaving the confines of my desk is important! Almost every day last week, I felt like I was trapping myself in my room with two big papers due and a wedding to prepare for. After feeling down on Monday and being hard on myself for doing nothing, one of my friends reminded me that I need to take time for myself. After all, we are “human beings” and not “human doings.” Some ways that I am taking time for myself is writing poetry for fun and making time to read for pleasure. Reading different YA and children’s books…


End of the Semester is Coming!

Peggy Hogan-Rao

 It’s getting to the end of the semester, which for means lots of school visits for someone in the School Library Teacher program like me. I started off my week at Watertown High School early on Monday morning. Even with leaving my house a little after 7:00, I didn’t get to the high school library until almost 7:45. Surprisingly, the library was quite crowded! I spent a few hours taking notes on how teens were using the library for an assignement for my YA Library Collections class. It was interesting to see that no students were checking out books, but rather making use of the technology resources in the library. Some of the technology that I observed students using were Vinyl sticker printers, 3-D printers, poster printers, copiers, Chrome Books, and Chrome Book chargers.  My Tuesday was not spent at a school, but I did make a quick visit to the public library in my neighborhood’s town square. I visited the children’s librarian there, who helped me to find some more nonfiction picture books in…


Getting Ready For Fall 2019

Peggy Hogan-Rao

Wow! It is hard to believe there is only one more week until classes start! It’ll be nice to get back into study mode after having a month break. The last few things I need to do before classes start are buy my textbooks for class, buy some notebooks, and get ahead on readings due the first couple weeks.  In the School Library Teacher Program (SLTP), students are able to take two electives. I have always loved writing for fun, and one of the reasons I chose Simmons was due to their exceptional Children’s Literature department. (not to mention their very reputable School Library Teacher Program within the Library and Information Science department). My one fun elective for this fall semester is Writing for Children I. Some of my other SLTP friends are taking electives such as Storytelling and Medieval Manuscripts.   My one required class for the fall is Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults, where I will learn about how to create and manage a library collection for teens. I am excited…


Summer Life

Peggy Hogan-Rao

It’s hard to believe that July is almost over! I’ve kept busy this summer with studying, even though I am not taking any summer classes. I took the reading MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills subtest in June, and I have the writing exam next week. The MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills is an exam SLT students need to pass before they can do their last two semesters of practicum experiences (student teaching). Luckily, I saved my eighth grade grammar textbook and brought it out to Boston! Princeton Review has been very helpful in my studying. I also listen to a podcast called Grammar Girl to review the basic grammar rules. When I am not studying, I’ve been applying to part time jobs in the fall. I’ve applied to a few at Boston Public Library, one at Cambridge Public Library, and a couple of library assistant positions in local school districts. With six library job applications submitted, it is waiting time. Waiting to hear back is definitely the hard part, but at least I can catch…


First Impressions

Megan Ondricek

Over the past week my semester has truly gotten underway and I think it is going to be exactly what I need for my final semester at Simmons. The most exciting thing to happen this week was the first meeting for my internship! I sat down with the senior reference librarian & instruction coordinator at Fairfield University and we hashed out introductions, expectations, and scheduling. For the next few weeks we will be meeting to discuss readings, instruction techniques, and lesson plans. I’ll get to observe a few classes, and then, I WILL GET TO TEACH ALL BY MYSELF. Yep, you heard that right (because I was yelling excitedly). These kind people are going to let an inexperienced library school student teach undergraduate freshman English classes. In fact, I’m going to teach about ten classes over the course of the semester! Yay for real life experience! I AM SO EXCITED. Readings and discussions have begun in my online metadata class and I’m getting pretty good vibes about it. Many of the students are in their…


Alternative Spring Break

Gemma Doyle

This week I took advantage of one of the many opportunities that are offered during spring break to try something new and spent an afternoon volunteering at the school library of the Boston Teachers Union School.  I’ve spent a lot of time working with teens and adults in public libraries, but have not really spent a substantial amount of time in the children’s rooms.  I’ve also never worked in or even volunteered in a school library before, so I thought it would be a really interesting and fun experience -and that I was pretty much guaranteed to learn something. Given my lack of experience, it was a good thing that our day consisted of labelling, barcoding and shelf reading; anything more advanced probably would have been a little nerve-wracking because I would have been too worried about screwing up something completely new to me. Boston Teachers Union School is K-8, so we got to see kids of every age throughout the afternoon, and process materials for every age as well.  We also got to see…