Rudai 23 – Thing 17 Reflective Practice

The task for this Thing is to think about how reflective practice could be used in my library setting. Well, as I am beginning on the chartership route I am gonna be doing rather a lot of reflecting, so I thought I might as well give it a go now. This is not going to be based on on a previous post but rather on a situation I found myself in recently as I think it would be good to note it down properly.

Sometimes we have CPD sessions at work and many of these are specifically for the teaching staff and don’t have a huge amount of relevance for non-teaching staff. One particular time I became very upset about the CPD session delivered to the the non-teachers because I thought it was patronising and I felt there is an effort to try and shoehorn practice into our roles when it isn’t relevant.

When I was back in the library alone I dwelt too much on the loneliness of my role and my frustration in the lack of development opportunities for school librarians. I wrote down a two sided rant of what was going through my mind at the time (which I still have) and hid in the corner and cried. My line manager then came in and saw me upset and offered to talk with me, but I didn’t want to, so he went and fetched my best friend instead, who is a teacher, who calmed me down and comforted me.

Although it was upsetting at the time, it was actually a positive experience because it meant I thought in much more depth about my career intentions and aspirations and it probably led me to make some longer term decisions, although I decided in the short to medium term to remain here.  What I do wish I had done now is speak to my line manager about it because he was the Principal at the time and may have been able to give me some opportunities that I may not have known about, or been  supported differently, I don’t know.

I suppose what is bothering me is the lack of challenge I find that I face daily here. I quite like having tasks to complete and check off but, because I organise my own schedule and, well, everything really, I often don’t feel under pressure to complete things. Actually, most of the time I am pretty self motivated but sometimes, due to external factors, I find myself unable to keep myself going. Sometimes the kids can be a little harsh in the sense that they don’t particularly value what I do and that is pretty understandable because I don’t use my qualifications to their full extent here. I’d say what bothers me the most is I have academic qualifications similar to a qualified teacher but I don’t have the same level of responsibility or progression in my role. My salary reflects this, and I think that it is fair for the role I have here, but sadly it isn’t enough to be happy with forever.

The other side to my frustration though is how happy I am working in a school most of the time. I love the students here (most of the time!) and I feel like I have built a great relationship with them over time. I’ve made some wonderful, supportive friends who I get on with inside and outside of school. The issue this does throw up is that I often become jealous or upset when they work with their teams because I don’t have a team at all. It can be very isolating. But, as I say, on a day to day basis I am perfectly fine here. If I didn’t like the job I would walk out the door because I certainly have done that before!

Probably what I could have done before it got so bad was to talk about it with someone. I actually brought it up eventually and the response was ‘well, maybe it is time to think about moving on.’ My friends thought that was really harsh, but it was pretty much what I had already realised and what I expected to hear. However, it is always sad to think you may have to leave a job when you don’t really want to. I have done some work experience in an academic library and I found it quite a dull environment. I can be pretty loud and enjoy interacting with people and that didn’t really inspire me with much confidence for a future career path in that sector but, financially, it is probably the safest route I can take.

What I have learnt from this experience is that you cannot underestimate your own desire to want to aways push forward and achieve more. I am surrounded by incredibly ambitious people who constantly strive to improve. I do too, but it is more challenging when there isn’t a support structure around that. I will now think more deeply about the bigger picture in terms of my career and try and take opportunities to improve when they arise.

Well, that is enough of that for now. I found it quite a useful experience noting it all down now that the event has passed and I have had some distance from it. I think sometimes I can get so very worked up about something and it can seem like the most important thing in the world but then I just forget about it, or it doesn’t bother me quite so much, and then it doesn’t get dealt with. At least now there is some record for me having felt like that.





2 thoughts on “Rudai 23 – Thing 17 Reflective Practice

  1. Well done on achieving a deep reflection here. I think you need to join some school librarians groups. They can suggest ways where you can embed the library into the teachers course work and become more involved in your school and open more challenges to yourself.
    But if you are considering an academic library, they really are far from dull. Consider taking some time to look at the different roles in an academic library. There often is a specific role for student engagement officier, which given your experience, you could hone your skills for this type of role. There are many things to consider, you may have a bit more thinking on your hands! Best of luck in deciding which path you want to take.


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