April 24, 2010


My wife's elementary school does something brilliant. Yesterday was the final day of their state-given standardized testing and they had a huge "Family Fun Night" to blow off some steam in the evening. DJs, face painting, inflatable playground thingees, and pizza. They even had a "Power Shower" where the kids could pay to throw balls at a target and get a chance to hose down staff members (including the principal) with freezing cold water. My daughter had the biggest smile on her face I've seen since Disney.

I got the chance, however briefly, to meet and chat with a couple of my fellow bloggers. They are brilliant and interesting and I only wish we'd had more time (and that I could hear better in an environment like that). While chatting with one of them, we were discussing the possible perks of my new job. "There will be less paperwork!"

I wondered aloud if that was true and was accused by my lovely bride of being a nattering nabob of negativism. Since she's always right, it has gotten me thinking. Is there really less paperwork? Or at least less of the onerous kind?

In my current job I have some grading but a whole lot of persnickety data entry and checking. I have to work on "modification plans" with teachers on all these students and create and maintaing "testing accommodation plans" and have everything signed and double checked and signed again and checked again and again. I also have to "code tests" which means canceling classes and spending an afternoon in the prison-like testing room bubbling in just the right mix of information on pain of losing my job if not correct.

So I'm thinking that once again, my lovely bride is right. I imagine being the librarian will have a lot of paperwork related to the ordering, but I've done that as a special orders person at a chain bookstore and I've even been the bookkeeper at such a bookstore. So that part doesn't seem too bad.

I'll be teaching two classes a day so will still have lesson planning but if I understand the schedule correctly, it'll basically be two lessons a week replayed five times, so that's not too bad. I don't know how much grading will be involved.

What other paperwork is involved in being a school librarian?