Are you looking for a job?

I’ve read a couple of posts on NewGradLife. Don’t think you have to be a new grad to appreciate their job hunting advise – like this one on Ten Mistakes that Can Sabotage Your Job Search .

The list includes:

  • Blasting your resume
  • Not customizing your cover letter or resume
  • Only using big sites and the internet



Arrow Recruiting

Well, I’m virtually finished with my masters so to say it’s been tempting to look at jobs related to libraries would be a great understatement. So a job came across my feed that looked interestingly perfect for me and I clicked. Job looked even better when I read the whole thing so I sent in my resume. *ahem*

I got a response pretty fast for a Saturday. At first I got an email from Sarah at RecruitArrow thanking me for my resume. Then I got an email from her telling me that while I was highly qualified, librarians are hard to place. At this time I’m getting a little suspicious because nothing about my qualifications for the specific job had been mentioned. Sarah gave several suggestions of places to look. Some (if not all) of them were for-pay job sites. I wish that I’d kept those earlier emails so I could give the names of the sites. (If you’ve had experience with RecruitArrow and saved those sites, I’d love to post them here. Please comment and let me know.) The one I do remember is called Hound. Those just keep coming. (Thank goodness for filters.) At first they were only from Sarah. The first really suspicious email said something along the lines that RecruitArrow had to keep high standards as a placement company but the job was actually listed at Hound and I might have good luck if I contacted the company myself. mmmmmmm You can sign up for a free few days, but really either I’m qualified for the job or not. AND Then I started getting emails straight from Hound.

So, what’s unclear is whether Hound is using RecruitArrow as a way to drum up business or RecruitArrow is using Hound as a money making venue – like an affiliate program.

Pay teachers more and students will perform better

I’m always amazed when I read something like this – pay me a bonus and the kids will score higher. Financial incentives do seem to work in some professions. Increase sales incentives and with the right person, you’ll get increased sales. But teaching isn’t like sales. There are too many variables to count between the staff, students and their families to know exactly which variable on what day will make the greatest difference. The thing that bothers me the most about the assumption in the title is that somehow my educational talents and skills are  motivated by a bonus. Don’t get me wrong. I like getting paid. I wish I made more. I probably would have chosen another profession had this one not come with a salary, but then again, I might still be here. It’s not the pay that motivates me as much as I like getting paid. Did you hear me Governor, Purdue? Are you listening, Congress? I do want to get paid. I do want a fair salary. BUT what motivates me is seeing a student “get” what we are doing in class. To see light bulbs go on. To have students come back the next day and tell me they went to the library or searched the internet to do a little bit more digging that there wasn’t enough time for during the school day. I’m going to do my job well, strike that, I’m going to be an excellent teacher without performance pay. I’m going to push every child as far as they can be pushed and I don’t need a dollar incentive to do that. Their learning is incentive enough for me. 

New York City Abandons Teacher Bonus Program

Year in Review – well sort of

Sort of because the year isn’t quite over yet, but I’ll be back into full swing of classes when it is and I know my blogging will be put on the back burner again.

Grad School – This year I took three classes with two coming up for the summer.

  • Technology for Library Services
  • Reference
  • Instructional Foundation
  • Organization of Information in Libraries (Cataloging)
  • Library Administration and Management

Reference was my favorite of all the courses I’ve taken so far. The class was nicely divided for distance education and all of the links and materials were up-to-date. The prof also responded to all my questions in a timely. But what I really liked was the course material which was like a giant scavenger hunt looking for random bits of authoritative information.

Instructional Foundations was a collaborative class and I’ll admit that I groaned quite loudly when I found that out. I ended up with a great group though and we met through Skype and I got a much better handle on using Google Docs as a collaborative tool.

The first stage of my portfolio was submitted and accepted with thankfully few corrections.

So what’s left in the old program? Materials for Children, Instructional Foundations and Leadership. Both of those are on the docket for this summer. Materials for Young Adults, Collections and a 110 hour practicum (yippee!).


This has been an interesting year teaching. Second year working with a curriculum is always easier. I had a much better handle on what was included and how fast or slow to go on certain lessons. I was able to incorporate lots more vocabulary instruction. I moved most of the formal assessments to the computer. This is a great help with grading. Even for short response, all the responses can be seen at the same time. I tried to start a problem solving wiki with the kids, but we had a hard time with computer time for that so it went no where – at least for this year.

We added a third teacher to the team this year and it was interesting to see the dynamics of that unfold.

On the professional front, I had several interesting things happen. After a fairly uneventful (but oh so busy) first semester, I was voted Teacher of the Year for the school. This required a portfolio of its own. Several times I regretted taking two classes and having to write the portfolio, but everything eventually got done by the deadlines. We also found out that we were to be a Mission Possible school next year which meant that some new leadership positions opened up. I applied and got one of those positions! I’ll still be in the classroom, but I’ll be working as a teacher leader. I’ll explain that in more detail when I know more of the details after training.

So, the long and the short is that it’s been a busy year, busier than I thought I’d be able to handle at times, but a very productive year. Four more classes and a practicum. I’m counting down.

Experiments in standing – 2 weeks

It’s been almost two weeks since moving my desk to waist high. The first few days were the hardest, but it was also a very hard week at school. Since I stand nearly all day, I was unsure what standing in the evenings would be like.

Standing has become more of a habit. I do still have the stool out for an occasional perch. I’ve got some shoes that are easier to stand in than others. Huge surprise there. ;P  I think I’ve been more productive, but that’s a bit subjective as every day’s workload is different. I do know I’ve been sleeping better.

So, I think I’ll keep it up. I may have to look for a bigger work space though. I had to get the ironing board out and put it beside my smaller work area to sort papers from which I was gathering info for a paper. When I was finished though, the papers went in the recycling bin and the ironing board went back in the closet. That may actually be a real solution. I’ve also got plenty of room on my desktop now for sorting. I’ve got problem solving packets in various stages on it now and they would have previously covered the kitchen table.

Day 2 on my experiment in standing

Today my legs felt like they’d gotten a workout yesterday, so I came home today and stood again. I got Tuesday – Friday’s lessons written, all standing. Tomorrow, I won’t be home until very late, but I’ll try to stand as much as possible where I am.

A funny side note was that I noticed today how much the kids want to sit. They don’t mind standing to play at recess for the most part, but if I ask them to stand for any length of time (like for the pledge 😉 ) they start tugging at their chairs like the period of time is endless.

Experiments in standing while working

I have been reading a lot lately about how much healthier it is to stand while you work. As a teacher, most of my day has been spent standing, but when I get home (especially due to grad school), I’m a slave to my computer and desk and consequently the desk chair. Working on projects, papers, research, etc. means way to much sitting and I’ve noticed pains in places that I don’t normally get them – like my lower back and hips.

So, I pretty much cleaned off my desk (left my netbook because it gets moved everywhere anyway)

and moved my main laptop and the second screen to a higher surface. The workspace is much smaller which will also take some getting used to, but this doesn’t have to be a permanent fix – just long enough to see what I think about it.

A couple of the articles I read said that the first week was the hardest.That does seem reasonable.

Articles are easy enough to find, but here is a NY Times piece that is a nice summary.

Cutting school librarians

It is a pervasive trend. Anyone can run a library, can’t they? Well, as a matter of fact, they can’t.

I’ve been reading impact studies on the role that librarians play in high test scores and there is a direct correlation. Not just with having a library. Not just with having staff in the library. But a direct correlations between a certified librarian and high test scores. Someone trained more than likely knows their stuff better. Stuff like finding materials for teachers, leading information literacy workshops, helping students understand research.

But still schools and districts are making the decision that librarians are the place to cut. Austin ISD is a case in point today. I’m confident there will be somewhere else tomorrow.