In between the stresses of a year that always brings the unexpected and leaves too much still to do at the end, we find ourselves in a season when it's common to pause for reflection. What is it that makes you most grateful when you contemplate your professional life? If nothing is coming to mind, consider these.
- I don't know about you, but I have the most amazing PLN. I work in a district with fabulous librarians and friends, and I network across the state - and even beyond - with remarkable women and men. If you haven't begun taking advantage of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook groups to expand your learning, it's time to give them a try! While it can seem overwhelming at first, you might be missing out on a professional game-changer. We are truly better together.
- As part of my PLN, I look forward each week to #txlchat and the opportunity to learn from and share with librarians at all grade levels and from different regions. Whether you join the Twitter-based chat on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM or check out the archives, you're in for a treat.
- We are part of a remarkable organization. I'm thankful for the leadership at TLA, for the advocacy conducted on our behalf, and for the folks who step up to lead and serve in divisions, on round tables, and with committees. It takes a huge number of volunteers to fill all the roles in TLA, and I appreciate everyone who sacrifices their time.
- There are so many opportunities to learn and grow! I can't imagine missing the annual conference. Annual Assembly is a time to connect and plan. Fall district meetings allow us to deepen the connections we have in our regions, both within our divisions and with librarians who work in other settings. The TALL Texans Institute provides in-depth leadership training, allows for relationship building, and opens doors to new avenues of service. And then there are the ESC-based sessions and conferences as well as a growing number of Edcamp Library events. It's enough to make any Muggle wish for a time turner and apparition abilities.
- I love working in a dynamic profession. So much is changing that we should never complain of boredom or stagnation. There are always new tech tools to learn, new students to teach, new teachers to work with, and new books to read. And each day, each week, is often different than the one before.
- We have the opportunity to work with everyone on our campuses. How many others can say that? Whether on-level or advances, special needs or gifted, students or teachers or administrators or parents, we have times when we can interact with any- and everyone.
- We are teachers first. Librarians don't leave the classroom, rather we move into bigger, different classrooms. We still teach. We help students engage and explore. Being a teacher isn't something we do, it's who we are. We love our students and we want what is best for them. We help provide physical spaces, resources, instruction, and support to help them succeed. We specialize in information literacy, inquiry, reading and digital learning - it's a one-stop shop! And even better, we love to collaborate.
If you want to be the best advocate possible for your program, love what you do. Do what you can to the best of your ability. Others will take notice. Yes, there might still be a lot left on your to-do list, things you hoped to accomplish in 2018. The year isn't over and you still have time, but don't stress. Remember, you have the best job ever!