Where do I begin??All TLs must struggle with this concept, although interestingly enough, a lot of the time you feel that people have the idea that we have ‘all the time in the world’, that TLs would not have the ‘lack of time’ issues that mainstream teachers do, because their days are more flexible etc. etc.
On the surface, this does seem feasible. Why then are we so ‘time poor’, stressed and over-whelmed by our workloads?
What springs to mind for me are the following:
1) Constant interruptions – often trivial (can I use the scissors, the computer rooms are full, is there space in the library? etc.)
2) Trying to prove ‘our worth’ – for me, I need to show teachers that I do work as hard as they do! Why do I do this? I guess it’s because teachers often don’t know what is involved with our role and instead of making them realise, I work hard to ‘prove’ it to them (even though most probably don’t notice how hard I am working!)
3) Saying ‘yes’ to everyone (everyone in my school: is 1350 students, 100 teachers, 5 library staff, office staff, as well as further afield – booksellers, IT specialists, parents, other school TLs etc.)
4) Trying to ‘teach’ information skills as RFF in timetabled library lessons, promote reading, run reading programs and keep abreast of curriculum across the school.
Time-Saving strategies I use:
1) DELEGATE tasks to library staff, library monitors
2) Develop a roster to cover front desk duties so that everyone has the chance to get work done without interruptions!
3) Inform staff about your role, so that it is not as ambiguous to others
4) DON’T say ‘YES’ to everyone. Encourage students/staff to become self-suffcient – demonstrate searching (don’t be tempted to do it for them!)
5) Make library lessons a priority, rather than something you ‘squeeze’ into the day. Be organised!
All sounds good on paper —–!!!!