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WOW!  Thank you to all who responded to my question
about deciding to apply for an elementary, middle or
high school position.  The main thing that people told
me was to pick by the age group of kids you like to
work with.  The other main concern was the absence of
flex scheduling in the elementary level.  It seemed
like it takes a very special person to be an
elementary librarian!  Many people enjoythe autonomy
of the older kids. Here are some excellent excerpts
from your responses:

I think you have to decide the age of students you
like to work with best. I have worked in all three
areas, and I like middle school the best. One minute
they are 12, and the next minute, they are acting like
they are 40, and the next minute, acting like a 2-yr

I have worked in two elementary and one high school.
I definitely like the high school better!  The kids
are teenagers and act accordingly, but I prefer that
to tattling and runny noses.

If you want to deal more with literature then the
junior high level is what you want. Research is the
name of the game at the high school level

My honest response is that in working with high
school kids, I appreciate their relative autonomy.
And it's fun to help them extend their knowledge of a
topic - to direct them towards materials that might
challenge their preconceptions about something.  I
enjoy the fact that teenagers already are groping
towards their own opinions, but are open to your input
if it is not delivered in a pedantic,
I'm-the-adult-here fashion.

-Choosing a school also depends on the technology.  I
love technology, so jumped at my school because it was
the most tech-rich one in the district.  If you aren't
a real tekkie, you might be more comfortable in a
school that is just beginning to get into the various
technologies so that you can grow with it.

 Middle school for me was great and why I ever left I
am not sure.  You have the best of both worlds, kids
who still want to read, you can do real research
projects, you can be on a flexible schedule and you
have an opportunity to work one on one with a lot of
kids, which I enjoy very much.

Paula Joseph
Teacher- Battlefield Middle School  Fredericksburg, VA
Student-Longwood University

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