“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it” Simon Sinek – Why do you do what you do?
I’ve found this prompt a tricky one. It’s an easy one to be flippant about – “because they pay me” or “for the holidays” came to mind. I make no apologies for not being the teacher who does it “because I love kids” or some similar saccharine sentiment, I much prefer working with teachers. When I strip it all away I think it comes down to the fundamental role of a librarian – to connect people with information. For me that information might be a book, a resource, a tool, using technology to do something in a different way. I guess what is interesting is why I prefer to do this in the context of a school rather than anywhere else, and (sad as it may be) it’s because I love the routine and cycles of school.
I love the excitement and potential of a new school year. New children, new teachers, new possibilities, new ideas, habits, ways of doing. I love the way the school year is punctuated by annual (and biannual and quarterly) events. In 2013 I spent a year working outside of a school for the first time since I was a bus conductor in the 80’s (but that’s another story). It was an exciting year and a great experience working on a project about disaster resilience education but by the end I knew that I wanted to be back in a school. What was lacking in the “real world” of the office environment I was working in were those indicators that come around (almost too quickly) each year in schools and the sense that we were all in it together. In a large open-plan office including sections of the Emergency Management, Migration Support and International Law programs of Red Cross, people worked away on their own thing, sometimes together but often not. Perhaps I wasn’t there long enough to really understand (and perhaps my position as an externally funded project officer made it harder to see) but what I noticed missing was the sense that we were all there with a common purpose and goal. The end of the year was celebrated but then it was business as usual for most. There was nothing to match the “first day back” feeling.
So there you have it. I just like schools!