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Report Writing!

One thing I dislike about my job: I have to write a thorough report for each my 250+ students

One think I love about my job: I get to write a thorough report for each of my 250+ students

I doubt there are many K-12 schools that ask their school librarians to write report cards, much less give more than a quick letter grade (or whatever symbol scheme is used by the district) to students. “Library” isn’t exactly viewed as a class and the “media specialist” isn’t exactly seen as a teacher. While other teachers might envy their school librarians for not having to do the grading and report card-writing they have to, I actually find my school’s expectation that I also write reports to be very validating of my role in the students’ education. I also find it a personally valuable activity, as it encourages (okay, requires) me to look back on each student’s progress over the year and even identify what I could have done to better support their learning. I love that my school’s student reports are lengthy, thorough reflections instead of a calculated grade based on worksheets and quizzes. I love that we value social interactions, emotional development, and creativity as much as academics. I love that we aim for a balance between valuing community and promoting individuality. Did I mention that I love my school?

Of course, my role here is not quite where I’d like it to be yet. In time, I’d like to be seen as an integral partner in research-based and literature-based units, rather than having to ask teachers regularly what their classes are studying so that I can build lessons (more or less by myself) that support their units. I’d like to meet regularly with teachers to plan collaborative units. I’d like teach students and teachers about effective and reflective research processes throughout the school year, not try to cram everything into a quick-n-dirty research class that only 10 4th/5th graders sign up for. In time…and I do wonder how my reports will evolve as my teaching role evolves, as well as how my schedule will need to adjust in order to make this evolution possible. With this year’s schedule, I simply couldn’t be all the places I needed to be when I needed to be there. But that’s different topic that I will be thinking about much more in the months to come.