Middle Grade Monday – When the Respect Comes from Inside the Building
Hi everyone! Having a broken arm is making life very interesting – especially since it’s my dominant arm. But I will persevere. (I think.)
Last week I was out sick most of the week. I did, however, attend a half day in-service training with other middle and high school librarians in my district. I’m fortunate enough to have been in leadership positions on occasion and a good number of the 60 or so people involved in the training know me (and I know them.) During the training, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that everyone was treating both me and each other with respect and a warm sense of collegiality that is often missing in my professional life. I began to wonder, do the students ever get the opportunity to experience this? How can I recreate this atmosphere amongst the students with whom I work?
We all work in different environments. There are going to be variations in the type of patrons we serve. One of the benefits of working with Middle Grade students is that their idea of how to interact in a group is still forming. Yes, they know what they’ve learned in Elementary school, but take them out of that familiar environment, and everything is up for grabs.
After some pondering, I’ve decided it’s time to slow down. I need to spend more time with my students – to make them feel welcome and heard. Too often, I am so rushed that it’s my inclination to gloss over what is being said to get to the point of the matter. What I really need to do is hear each student out, even if it means I get to fewer of them.
I’ve been trying to think of some literary examples of what I am suggesting. I can think of plenty of negative examples… Anyone care to chime in in the comments?
Filed under: Middle Grade Monday
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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