Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ch... Ch... Changes: A New Adventure Begins

I wish I could say that I've always wanted to be a teacher.  But that's not really true.  Rather, I was the kind of kid who wanted to be something different every day.

At various times, throughout my life, I wanted to be a writer, a cartoonist, a violinist, a drummer, a folk singer, a photographer, an astronomer, a veterinarian, an architect, a roller-coaster designer, a disk jockey, a news broadcaster, a journalist  and (because I grew up near Seattle) a barista.

But not a teacher.

The truth is, I came to teaching accidentally. Or perhaps I should say it came to me.

By the time I'd reached my 3rd year in college, I'd yet to declare a major.  I was sitting on the fence - trying to decide between marketing and communications. (I know, right?) Then I was asked to write a paper about my journey to college - a narrative map of how I'd gotten from there to here and where I thought the next year or so would take me.

When the papers were due, I heard my classmates share their stories about how their parents had scrimped and saved to send them to school or how, because they felt compelled to be one thing or another, NOT going to college just wasn't an option.

My journey was different and clearly began in the 10th grade, when (for the first time) a teacher took an interest in me.  That's not to say the rest of my schooling was full of bad teachers (although I had my share) but I moved around a lot and had become adept at being the kind of kid who knew were the cracks were and just how to fall between them.  In the 10th grade, however, I had a teacher who wouldn't let me get away with being invisible and it's no exaggeration to say that my life was indelibly changed as a result.

It's almost embarrassing to admit that it took reflecting on my journey and sharing that story with others to make me realize where I needed to be, but truly, it was like the proverbial light bulb going on over my head.  A true "Aha!" moment.

Sixteen years later, I cannot imagine having made another choice.  Teaching is what I was meant to do and I have loved (almost) every minute of it.  Which could explain why it's taken 10 paragraphs to get to the point of this post which is that I've accepted a new position with the state of North Carolina that will take me out of my own classroom/library and into those being cultivated by others.

Starting October 1st I will be teaching librarians instead of kids.  My new position will take me from district to district where I will share and learn and lead.

To say that this was a difficult decision to make would be an understatement.  But thanks to good advice from trusted friends and the falling of several cosmic dominoes, I believe that right now, this is the right decision for me.

So... will this blog continue?  Of course!  Because as I said before, I believe this is the start of a new adventure - as opposed to the end of one.

Am I still Library Girl?? Without question.  Seriously, you'll have to pry this cape out of my cold dead hand. :)

Am I nervous??  More than I can possibly put into words, but I'm also equally excited to work with my colleagues to support great, 21st century library programs across the state.  If nothing else, I know this is going to be fun.

So... wish me luck!

21 comments:

  1. I know where your first stop should be! ;)

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  2. Bon chance! Congratulations and knock em dead!

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  3. Congrats on your new position my dear friend! I'm so excited for you and I know that you are going to continue to bring change and awesomeness everywhere you go!

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  4. Dream job! Congratulations and look forward to reading your continuing adventures :)

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  5. Congratulations! What a wonderful adventure to embark on!

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  6. Congratulations!! When are you coming to see my new library? I will see you at NCSLMA--I have registered for your Thursday afternoon session...miss you my friend--bur now maybe I can see you more often!! Toodles!!! :) KC

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful new adventure! I used to be a media specialist in North Carolina and would have loved to have you come and teach me what you know!!! Good luck!

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  8. Congratulations!! You'll be great!!

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  9. "Seriously, you'll have to pry this cape out of my cold dead hand" might be one of my favorite things you have ever said...and there is a very long list of favorites. You know exactly how I feel, so here, in this moment I will do as you asked and only wish you luck...making this not about me is a challenge, but for you...anything! :-)

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  10. That is wonderful for you! Congratulations!

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  11. Congratulations, superhero! I know I've learned some amazing things from you in just a few short Twitter months! Keep up the amazing leadership!

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  12. How exciting! Congrats and good luck to you.

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  13. Congratulations!! This is good news for NC school librarians :) Look forward to reading about your new journey.

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  14. Hello Jennifer. I want you to know that you and Matt have been very inspiring to me and many other people. I know that you'll rock in your new position. If there are ways that a computer geek can help you in your quest, please let me know.

    Thanks again for the great chat at #levelupbc last night. I was sad that I could not be more active. I look forward to trying to engage more in your community now that I've finished "Reality is broken."

    Peace!

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  15. What a fabulous opportunity, Jennifer! I am so envious of the fortunate teacher librarians in North Carolina!

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  16. You were very inspiring to me at a keynote speech you gave at Champlain College in Burlington, VT last spring. I wrote you a tribute on leaannsmith.blogspot.com, check it out if you'd like.

    Good luck, you'll be AWESOME!!!

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  17. I am so fortunate to count all of you as friends and cheerleaders! Thank you so much - you've made this transition that much easier.

    *mwah!*

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    1. I am so happy for you, and I am certain you will do well at whatever you do! I, for one am looking forward to the barista and the folk singer incarnation. Maybe both at the same time??--You me in Boone or Seattle?

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  18. Jennifer, CONGRATS! You, '...had a teacher who wouldn't let me get away with being invisible and it's no exaggeration to say that my life was indelibly changed as a result." That relationship led you to find and fuel your passion to empower others like that teacher empowered you! I look forward to your leadership in NC. Your leadership in not letting us get away with being invisible as school librarians. Your leadership in focusing our passion to empower others like others have empowered us. See you at NCSLMA Conference and in Asheville! Go Library Girl!

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  19. So is this the Teacher on Loan I saw in the NCSLMA conference program?

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  20. My friend. My pal. My wonder twin. My constant source of inspiration and amazement. I could not be more honored to know you or more proud at all you've accomplished and all that lies on the road ahead. No matter what the circumstance, you thrive in these incredible opportunities to spread your wings. Your 16 great years with students will lend themselves perfectly to your future work and you will no doubt continue to impact instruction and inspire educators via your sheer passion and amazingness. Rock out at this new position! I can't wait to hear all about it!

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