Student Voice

This year I returned to the middle school media center after several years at the elementary level. The students at this middle school were, for the most part, my students earlier at the elementary school. Unfortunately, the middle school had not had a professional librarian in some years. Secretaries and subs had filled the gap, but not very effectively. The phrase I kept hearing over and over from students was, “We don’t like it here in the library because they always yell at us and never listen to what we say.” I feel like the atmosphere has shifted already, partly because they know me and trust that I will listen. I was amazed how little it took to change their attitude. I instituted a form for them to suggest books they would like to read and I actually bought some out of my own pocket while I wait for the budget. I also asked for student help in sprucing up the media center, beginning with painting the plain wooden paint sticks that are used as shelf markers. It is amazing how much small changes can encourage kids. I still have the same secretary, but she has become a partner in change. She has commented on how much better the students are treating the media center this year. Is it that the students are different, or is the attitude of the adults different, or a bit of both? All I know is when people feel ownership of a space, they treat it differently. May we allow our students to own their learning space.5E9298BF-2166-45AB-9687-5DECADFB8465

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