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Journey from Graphics Designer to Teacher Librarian


When my friends and family ask me what I am doing? They all are surprised to know that I am a teacher-librarian and take classes for the little ones. Yes, I am a teacher-librarian, and I wear many hats. I collaborate with students, teachers, and parents, suggesting physical and virtual resources, encouraging them to read, and motivating them to use information ethically. 

My journey started seven years ago when I shifted from Kanpur to Surat. I worked at Fountainhead school as a graphic designer, where I learned about different software and tools from my teammates. When the school was going for its second evaluation visit in 2019, that was the time I was given the task of designing posters and displays for the school library. 

This task allowed me to work very closely with the library team. While designing the posters, I read and learned about learner profile attributes, IB mission statement, ATL, Key concepts, International mindedness, and Student Agency. The more I read about it, the more I became more curious, asking and discussing it with teachers and my friends working in other IB schools.

My library visits became more frequent. I started reading story books. I used to see the teacher-reading aloud.  Whenever I visited the library, I felt happy to see various books in different languages. One day when I was thinking about my career, the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted to be a librarian, but how? That was a big question mark in my head and heart.

 I enquired about how to become a teacher-librarian. I enrolled myself for a Bachelor of Library Science degree. I started looking for a teacher-librarian job. I read blogs, met people and discussed the librarian role in an IB school. How does the library work in the 21st century? Why are libraries important? The more I came to know about it, the more I decided to shift from graphics to the library.

I set a goal for myself and shared the same with a few of my friends. They all were shocked but motivated and encouraged me to go ahead. They also guided me on how to go about it. I started planning and working to achieve my goal. Once I became a little confident, I started applying for the job of teacher-librarian. I received no response to my applications for the first few months, but I did not give up. 

One day, I was sitting on my balcony reading the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephanie Covey. I remember I was on page no 34, and my phone rang. It was a call from The Gaudium School, they were looking for a teacher-librarian, and my interview was fixed, and I was selected and joined the school in June of 2020.  

One challenge was over, and another challenge came – Pandemic, virtual classes. I was apprehensive about whether I could manage the classes virtually? What will I do? How will I manage? It was the time when Ms Anjalika Sharma (Principal IB PYP at Gaudium School) and Ms Brinda Pandit (Teacher Librarian at The Gaudium School) guided me and supported me. Their motivation, guidance, and faith in me helped me believe in myself.

I began a new journey; I learned new things every day and became more curious about everything. I started collaborating with other teachers to learn more about PYP and the role the library plays in the programme. Collaborating with my co-librarian, we created and developed a virtual resource library for teachers and students during the pandemic. I used different strategies to read aloud for Early years and grades 1, 2 and 3. 

Students started enjoying my classes which encouraged and motivated me. My knowledge about technology and using various tools helped me a lot during the pandemic. 

While getting ready for evaluation, I learned more about the program. In this process, I have emerged as an inquirer prepared to take risks to be a lifelong learner. I had set a goal to achieve that goal and execute my plan for what I had received feedback and feedforward, which has helped me to plan further. It is an ongoing journey with a lot to learn and unlearn as and when needed. 

In the end, I would like to say that I enjoy being a teacher-librarian and am ready to explore more. 

 “I believe that if you just stand up and go, life will open up for you. Something just motivates you to keep moving.” — Tina Turner.

By Anuj Kumar, Teacher librarian IB PYP, The Gaudium School, Hyderabad


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