June 13, 2021 by Dr. Robbie Barber
This post is Week 1 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators. I’ve decided to try again this summer and see how the blogging goes. The prompt for this week is: Describe relationships with those you taught this year.
In some ways, as a high school teacher-librarian, I am very lucky. I get to see the students all the way out of K-12 education. High school, in my opinion, is the last opportunity we (K-12 educators) have to help guide our students to becoming productive members of society. At the end of May, I stood by the rows, wearing a black gown and doctoral hood in 85F heat and 100%humidity, showing the students where to sit as they received their diploma covers. I volunteered to stand in the heat and guide these students once last time. I felt both excited and a little ashamed that in my four years of contact with these students, some showed their maturity helping others with their graduation gowns and others felt free to behave like small children. Still, it was amazing to watch those who stood like the adults they are as they received the diplomas with grace and a smile.
This year, we had students and teachers fully remote for the first semester, teachers in person the second semester, and for the last nine or ten weeks, students choosing to be in person or online for the same classes. I’ve blogged about the challenges this year has brought. Let’s review some of the people who I had the honor and privilege of teaching this year.
I taught the math teacher how to use Google Classroom who turned around and taught me how to make mini-videos and create a YouTube playlist for others.
I taught the IB seniors about research for their IAs, and they turned around (one after another) and told the juniors that Dr. Barber would help them with research, if they only asked.
I taught our guests at our virtual TigerCon (our high school ComicCon) how to connect with our students and the result was a wonderful 2 hours of documentaries, talking, exploring, and visiting with the entire school.
I taught other teacher-librarians in the district about writing End of Year Reports and they shared various activities they did, which will only increase my repertoire.
I taught the school’s Salutatorian who called me after graduation to say she had been given a brand new Chromebook from the school district and she wanted to donate it to another graduate. (The amazing post-secondary specialist, who serves several schools, took control and got the device to another graduate at another school.)
I taught the staff my commitment to vaccinations by personally purchasing and handing out vaccine card waterproof holders and in return some agreed to get the vaccine, if I felt it was that important. I do.
Never doubt for a minute that we touch more than our assigned students. Whether you are a classroom teacher or a teacher-librarian or another role in the school district, we connect with the student in the hallway, the teacher asking a quick question, and the person who shared their experiences to help us learn. It takes a village.