Notes on a Pandemic

Today’s Contributor: I am Elizabeth Bassimakopoulos, a librarian serving two schools colocated in one building. 

The beginning of the year was tough; I was balancing being the librarian for my home campus while simultaneously acclimating another campus that has said goodbye to their librarian of a decade.  It has been emotional.  This year got even more so when COVID-19 became part of my lexicon.  Learn-At-Home or remote learning kicked me in the face.  It made  me question my identity professionally.  How can I be useful as a librarian to littles when I don’t fully agree with putting small children in front of devices philosophically? 

Well, Coronavirus has given me a fire to prepare my campuses for any future Learn-At-Home.  I have advice to those that are figuring out how to live through this,  which being a kid in the 90’s always makes me think of Hole, but I digress.  As a non-classroom teacher, I realize all teachers need the tools of technology.  All of them, no one is not needing it now.  If we are prepared, our kids and parents go into a crisis mode knowing how to navigate the platforms and how to do the work.  This continuity would have taken some familiarity from before, when we were in the building.  The other piece of advice, which is taken from our district is: Take what you’re planning and cut it in half, then cut it in half again.  This makes sense to me as well.  As a librarian working remotely while being a mom and the person in charge of my child’s education through the guidance of his teacher.  My child has had a tough time adjusting to not seeing friends and having to do work without the ability to leave his home.  

This being said, I have to shout out to the teachers at my school.  I have been the Campus Innovation Connector for two years now. In these last few weeks of Teach-At-Home, my teachers have surpassed me in their skills.  Their dedication to their students’ well-being, drive to make this the best possible experience in these limiting circumstances, and their belief that every child deserves a quality education is remarkable.

This is a photo I received from a teacher on a day I really needed a pick-me-up.  I have filed it in my email under Love because this is what I needed so desperately to feel like I have done my job: one of my students looking so happy with me and a book!  All my dreams come true.

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