Well, it's SORT of a job. I spent part of the day volunteering. In a library. At an ELEMENTARY school.
A friend of mine (who is still a friend even though she was born the year I graduated from high school **ahem**) with whom I used to teach is now teaching in a county where I USED to teach, and she has gone from teaching technology and video broadcasting to serving as the media specialist at an elementary school.
When I found out about her new job, I told her I couldn't believe it. It's not like elementary students could appreciate her sarcasm. (Which, by the way, she says she got from ME. I know, right?) She said elementary students are just like high school students, without the curse words and cell phones. Hmmm... She might have a point.
Anyway, her school district eliminated all media center parapros this year (possibly other parapros also, but I'm not sure about that), so she and her fellow media specialists are relying solely on volunteers. When I saw the article (and her picture) in the area newspaper, I decided to volunteer. I thought I needed to broaden my horizons. Step outside my comfort zone. Branch out. Get away from this stupid game on my iPad.
When I first met Jennifer, she was the technology in the school where I was in charge of the yearbook. I used her classroom for my yearbook staff during her planning period, so we sort of shared the same space. She interacted with the yearbook staff and became almost an honorary adviser. (If I'd been smart I would have thrown the whole kit and kaboodle at her and made her the OFFICIAL adviser, getting out while the getting was good.) Right after I met her, I asked Jennifer how long she had been teaching. "This is my first year," she said. I was floored. She had a presence about her, a calmness, a spirit of veteranness (don't you like THAT word I just made up?) that I had never seen before in a first-year teacher. Hell, I still didn't have it myself, and I had been teaching ... a long time ... at that point.
Anyway, Jennifer and I wound up in the same county again, but at different schools, and the only time we saw each other was once a year at graduation. Then she moved on and I retired, and we only "saw" each other on Facebook.
That's not the ONLY reason I decided to volunteer at her school, mind you. It wasn't JUST to catch up. It also takes me to the only town near me that has a Michael's, and I don't have to make a special trip to get supplies for crocheting and making cake pops.
My regular day for volunteering is going to be on Mondays, at least until mother-in-law finishes her radiation treatments and my schedule is a little more flexible. Today I went to learn the ropes, and the time flew by. I checked books in on the computer, checked books out, shelved books, shelved some more books, and shelved some more books. I also spent a lot of time putting clear tape on the spines of paperback books. I marveled at Jennifer's ability to multi-task, and I admired (again) her flexibility when the counselor came in to tell her she wouldn't be working with the kindergarteners (!) as planned, and Jennifer needed to come up with something to do with them for 45 minutes. I would have cried great big old crocodile tears, but Jennifer didn't even flinch. When I left, she was reading a story to the class of kindergarten students, and while they weren't exactly paying RAPT attention, they also weren't slapping each other, texting their friends and mamas, or putting their heads down and going to sleep.
It was a fun day, I felt like I was doing some good (I hope I hope I hope I hope), and it got me out of the house. I think I'll go back again.
|A day spent surrounded by books - this must be what Heaven is like.|
|I love how neat and organized libraries are. And bright and quiet and all the things my life typically isn't.|
|However, the lighting in libraries always seems to be TERRIBLE for photography.|