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How about starting the new year with a presentation at your school's  
next faculty meeting by sharing with them your education and  
credentials, even it you've done it before.

My experience is that many teachers think that anyone not assigned to  
a classroom with a full complement of students has a job that is  
easier than theirs, less stressful, and that every other job in the  
school is less important than theirs.  I know, I know, many of those  
same teachers would not and could not survive in a support position,  
but I think if we can educate and partner with them, then we remove  
the "them vs us" mentality.   I used to be totally shocked that  
teachers sometimes behaved badly.  It just didn't occur to me that  
people in a profession as noble and sometimes selfless as teaching  
could behave badly and insensitively, but then I remembered that they  
are human beings with all of the foibles and idiosyncrasies of the  
species.  I was the naive one.

It's sad that we have to advocate and justify our positions to our  
teacher colleagues, but, like many, many administrators they did not  
go through their own educational journeys with a school library-media  
person at their site.  They just don't know what it is that we can do  
for them, and we find ourselves in the position of educating them over  
and over again.  Even if they do take advantage of the library and  
staff, many times they just don't see what it is that we do,  
especially if the library time is considered prep time for them, or if  
they send groups or even entire classes to the library unaccompanied  
by them.  Many teachers who do come to the library with their classes  
spend that time correcting papers, or making phone calls or dashing  
about trying to finish up something they need or forgot to do.  They  
are a harried lot!

Post ALL of your credentials, diplomas, awards, certificates in a  
prominent spot in your library, maybe next to the circulation desk.   
Do the same for any aides or clerks you might be fortunate enough to  
have working with you.

Our jobs are not only to educate, but to be a PR expert in our field,  
and it never, never ends.

Kathy Graves
Retired IMC Director/Librarian
Siskiyou County Office of Education
Yreka, CA 96097

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