Friday, January 13, 2012

Make It Happen 2012: Day 12 and 13

I love to teach.

What surprises me most about this realization is how many times I seem to have to make it. This past week I've been rediscovering the joys of getting in front of a group of people and sharing what I know, as our ILL shop is offering what we've billed as a series of "Open Training" sessions on various topics in resource sharing. At first we were simply thinking about doing some cross-training in the office, but then my boss said why not open it up to the rest of the Harvard ILL community at large?

Which, as it turns out, was a great idea. After two successful sessions this week- one in a lecture format, the other a hands-on workshop- not only is everyone already excited for next week's offerings, but they're already asking that we make this an ongoing thing. I would be thrilled to do some instruction on a regular basis, as I've really enjoyed being back in a classroom setting, but it also makes me think that I need to find a way to make teaching a more integral component of my job as I move forward.

In a former life I used to teach adult education, introducing students to the wonders of Ancient, Homeric, and New Testament Greek at a nonprofit cultural institution. Although the hours were nothing short of insane between my day job and my epic commute back to the North Shore every evening, I always left the classroom feeling exhilarated. Of course it always helps to have a self-selecting lot of motivated students who are taking a class not because they have to but because they genuinely want to know more about a given subject, but even when the going was tough I relished in helping get a struggling student out of the weeds and into a better understanding of the language.

I must say that this is something I miss dearly. While my job has its instructional opportunities and librarianship as a whole is chock full of teachable moments, I'm keenly aware of the fact that I have certain academic itches which aren't being scratched. Does this mean going back to school? I've been kicking around the idea of going for a Ph.D. in library science. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop dithering and do it already...

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