This past June when I closed down my classroom, I experienced all of the normal emotions. The room felt empty without my twenty-four students, and although I was looking forward to the summer break, I knew I would miss my students and the wonderful times we had shared throughout the year. I feel this same way at the end of every school year, but this year it was different. I would not be coming back to Derry Township as a fourth grade teacher in the fall. I would be returning as a School Library Media Specialist. With that realization, all feelings of sadness vanished, and I could not contain the huge grin which covered my face. Now, instead of working with just twenty-four students, I would have the opportunity to impact and influence more than 500 students! What a daunting but exciting challenge – but one that I am well prepared for thanks to Mansfield’s School Library & Information Technologies Master's Program.
As a classroom teacher for fifteen years, I am excited about the prospects this newest phase of my educational career brings. I look forward to teaming with my fellow School Library Media Specialists as we work to create an updated Policies and Procedures Manual. Once again, Mansfield’s program has provided me with the tools I need to fully contribute to this collaborative effort. As I progressed through the program, the School Library Media Specialists within Derry Township continued to be impressed by the practicality and usefulness of my assignments. I attribute this to the faculty who implement the program with such enthusiasm and diligence. I never dreamed that I could get to know and become so close to an online faculty, but the instructors at Mansfield make this a priority. While the program is demanding and quite rigorous, the instructors are readily available to provide support and assistance. They serve as wonderful role models, inspiring students and preparing them to meet the demands of this ever-changing field.
Although I have pangs of sadness regarding leaving my grade level colleagues that I had come to know and love so well, it is reassuring to know that I will now be able to collaborate with this group of dedicated teachers in new and different ways. I am not losing a grade level after all, but rather gaining three additional ones! Derry Township School District has an Early Childhood Center, as well as an Elementary building which houses the Primary Elementary and the Intermediate Elementary. As the new School Library Media Specialist, I will have the pleasure of working with teachers and students in both buildings as I instruct students in first, second, and third grade, as well as the multiple disabilities classroom. I can hardly wait until school resumes in August, when I’ll actually be able to put into practice all that I have learned via Mansfield’s School Library & Information Technologies Master’s Program.
The only family member who is not thrilled about my transition from classroom teacher to specialist is my four legged, furry friend – Millie. A three year old Bichon Poodle mix, she just doesn’t understand why I keep running off to school on these beautiful summer days. She thought she’d have me all to herself for a couple of months and wishes I wasn’t quite so excited about getting ready for my new position in the fall. I wish I could promote in Millie the same degree of enthusiasm that the Mansfield instructors instilled in me. Instead, I think I’ll just have to appease her with a doggy sundae from Bruster’s! Luckily, I love ice-cream as much as Millie does!
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