Spent today at meeting with all of the librarians in my county. I sat next to a colleague from a former district; someone I haven’t seen in seven years. He’s a classroom teacher who has been placed in my old library, and if ever there was anyone with a right to complain about his situation, it’s this guy. When I left that school the building population was around 1000, there were 2 full time librarians and a 1.5 clerk. Today the building population is down to around 700, but the only person working in the library is my friend the classroom teacher who was given 1 day training on the circulation system as his only orientation to the job. He has no clerk and frequently has two full classes at one time. (During those periods he has a TA who supervises one class in the computer lab while he has the other class.)
And yet, despite all of this, he remains just as full of positive energy as I remember. He loves what he’s doing, even though it’s hectic. I feel like “my” library is in good hands, even if he’s not certified. (I think your first library is like your first love – it always holds a special place in your heart.)
Library meetings often descend into a gripe-fest, and I’ll be the first to admit that I join in. I frequently find them draining, but today was different. Sitting next to a guy in really dire straights who loves his job anyway left me feeling buoyed up and energized.
My situation is not ideal, but it could certainly be worse. Reflecting on how good I feel after spending a day with Mr. Positive makes me that much more determined to appreciate the good parts of my job and keep my whining to myself. Teaching is so hard these days. Let’s try to be a source of energy for each other rather than another drain.