Booking a class in to use the library for a lesson always makes me feel super organised and on top of things. At our school, the library is in high demand, so bookings need to be made many weeks in advance — not how my brain tends to function in teaching land. However, this term, I have been super impressed with myself and my forward planning and have managed to lock in quite a few library sessions with my classes.
Senior students tend to sort themselves out and find what they need on the shelves and computers. My Year 7s can find the freedom of the library to be a bit overwhelming.
“Miss, can we sit on the bean bags to work?”
“No, Shane, you need to be at a table with your laptop.”
“Miss, can we play games when we finish?”
“You’re only just starting and remember we said that this assignment is going to take a few weeks to work through?”
“Can we use your account to print stuff off on the colour printer, Miss?”
“I can’t find any information on my topic, Miss.”
“I don’t want to work with Kayla anymore. She’s being mean.”
One of the benefits of being in the library for the lesson is if you manage to book in at the same time as your teaching-bestie. This is particularly exciting if you are a bit over your class and really need the moral support of another like-minded adult in close proximity. Plus, it’s a great chance to catch up on staff gossip whilst looking like you are delivering an exciting lesson because you have changed location.
“Apparently Steve got engaged over the break.”
“Really? I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.”
“Well, it’s really weird because he didn’t tell anyone about it but the student teacher in the PE office is apparently cousins with his fiancé and she told everyone.”
“Miss! Kayla’s still being really mean.”
“Well, I suggest you just work on your separate sections of the assignment away from each other for today and then we’ll have a chat before next lesson to see how things are going.”
“You heard Miss Adams. Off you go!”
Ah, the beauty of colleague back-up.
The only slight challenge with using the library is that most librarians have very particular ways that they like the space used. This includes a certain volume for student voices that is acceptable, the number of students allowed to line up to borrow books at a time and the number of pieces of paper that each student has to pick up off the floor before leaving. It can be hard to keep up with changes to these regulations.
“Remember, 7C, that Miss Fordham only wants five students lining up at a time to borrow.”
“Actually, only three, Miss Adams. It’s five pieces of paper that we need to pick up before leaving.”
“I swear she changes that every time I’m in here.”
Phew. I thought it was just me.
Christina Adams is a member of the Australian Education Union (Victoria) and a stand-up comedian