Monday, 29 March 2010

Nice way to start a Monday

I got an email this morning from a librarian at one of our feeder schools saying that he had visited the College on an Open Evening with his child and was very impressed by the Library. He's asked to come and visit. Made me rather chuffed that another Librarian should think our library is impressive. What a nice way to start the week!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My Job

Understanding Organisations by Charles Handy
Chapter 11 - On Being a Manager

"Rosemary Stewart, studying 100 managers, found that in four weeks each of them had, on average, only nine periods of half an hour without interruption, which is less than one every other day. Mintzberg, studying chief executives, found what might be called the 'ten minute itch': everything, even desk work and tours of the plant or office, seemed to get fitted into average bursts of around ten minutes except for scheduled meetings, although even these, on average, lasted only just over an hour."

Hmmmmmm sounds so familiar.

Monday, 22 March 2010

The terminal stupidity of teenagers

Sometimes I wonder if kids misplace their brains when they become teenagers. They seem to think that they can misbehave and then run off and the next day it is all forgotten. Well I don't forget and I've had to deal with several students over the last week who behaved appallingly and then the next day couldn't understand why I asked them to leave the library and not come back until after Easter. Then today I had one student reply to an email about an overdue book telling me to piss off. His first mistake was to write it down. I forwarded it to his tutor who is now on the war path. The word kill was mentioned. I really don't understand their attitude. I would hope that they wouldn't talk to their parents that way but maybe that's why they think that that kind of language or behaviour is acceptable, because they DO talk that way to their parents. What a sad state of affairs.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Best line ever

We had a few problems with some students yesterday and while I didn't catch all of their names I did managed to get one. I informed the student's tutor who said that he wasn't suprised at all that they had been creating problems. Anyway, we agreed that the student should not come back into the library until after Easter and he sent the student a letter that was frankly the best letter I've ever read. The best line in the whole thing though came at the end when he said,

"I should advise you to bear in mind that I shall shortly be deciding whom we will allow to return next year and that you are at present doing nothing to convince me that I should allow the taxpayer to go on funding a place for you."

Sheer brilliance! It gives me hope that some teachers do care about maintaining standards and enforcing the rules on bad behaviour.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

What a difference a quiet day makes...

... I can feel my blood pressure decreasing by the minute! Monday and Tuesday of this week have been review days for our A level students which means that half of the students are seeing teachers and the other half are in the Sports Hall having careers lectures and playing games. It's been absolute bliss. My ears feel like they are on holiday! No more noise, no more annoying students being stupid. It's been like heaven. I've managed to clear my desk of all the paper work that was mounting, clean all the downstairs PCs, classify and catalogue a whole pile of books, work on new displays, sign up for courses AND do some coursework. I've managed to do two weeks worth of stuff in one and a half days simply because I've had no interruptions. This afternoon I'm going to sort out the second office, do some more paper work and tidy my office and then do some more coursework. I'll probably have done about three weeks worth of work by the time I'm done! I wish we had review days more often.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Good to feel needed

I had a student come to see me today in need of some help. His mother works with mine and she suggested that he come and see me. He has learning difficulties and is struggling with his ICT coursework. I'm not terribly surprised as he says that even his teacher doesn't know how to use the software that they are using. Anyway, he explained what he was doing and what the problems were and I found him some good study guides. We've agreed that he's going to come back tomorrow and I'm going to help him sort out what he needs to do. Making a plan of what you've done and what you have left to do is one of the best ways to focus and also to feel better about the work you're doing. One of the greatest problems he's having (besides the lack of teacher aid) seems to be that they are trying to do two modules at once and he's finding it hard as they keep jumping back and forth between them. I can totally understand that problem as I struggled with that at university all the time. It was hard to separate things that were similar in nature and I needed to be really focused to stay on track.

Anyway, I'm in the process of printing off the manual for the programme he's using so that he can finish making the product. I'm glad that I'm able to help him as it seems that ALS aren't able to give him the support he needs.

It's nice to feel needed.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ways to engage students in reading

I have a lot of students who simply will not read unless it is for homework/coursework or an exam. I think this is rather sad and it also means that they are not developing their reading skills which will effect how well they do at school and later in life. I had a hard time learning to read as a child. I didn't learn to read until I was 12 and it was only thanks to comics that I was able to engage and find enjoyment in reading.

I was thinking that perhaps this would be a good way to encourage some of my students to read. Comics, graphic novels and manga are a good way to read for pleasure and often contain literary references that students may end up going to the source to look up. It is a bit of stretch but hope springs eternal.

I've been trying to come up with some titles to create a comic/graphic novel/manga section for my library but so far haven't gotten very far. I bought a copy of Watchmen which seemed to be popular but other than that I am at a loss. I did come across this comic today that looks really good and appealing to the age group I work with (16-19).


Goodness! I have to apologize. I've just looked back over my posts and seen how depressing and moany they are. While there may be some HUGE problems with my work and studies not everything is doom and gloom I promise. My uni lecturers have been a huge support and not all of my students are vile little beings. I do like my job on the whole but there are some major issues that obviously need tackling. I have to admit that I would be unlikely to suggest to someone else that they try to do my kind of job and do a Master's at the same time but I would recommend doing them, seperately! My colleagues are great and they have been very supportive and nice to me since I started working here. I think everyone in their own way suffers a bit the way I do. I think that's just part of working in education.

Please, rest assured that my life is not all doom and gloom as I seem to report.