posted February 10, 2012 12:09 PM by Maya Bery
It's only a month into the new semester, but for those of us in the school library teacher (SLT) program, we're already looking forward to August and September. Our wonderful advisor, Dr. Fran Zilonis, has already wrapped up meetings with all students planning to undertake a practicum experience in the fall to let us know about deadlines and offer advice in choosing a site.
The practicum experience is the capstone of the SLT program, and is required by the Commonwealth for our teaching licenses upon graduation. Each SLTP student does two practicum experiences - one at the elementary level (k-5 or k-8), and one at the middle or high school level (6-8 or 9-12). There are two hundred hours of work required in total, which are done under the supervision of a licensed library teacher at dozens of schools across the greater Boston area (students who attend GSLIS West do their practicum experiences in western Massachusetts, generally).
What this means is that the great scramble to find practicum sites has officially begun.
SLT students will begin the process of reaching out to licensed school library professionals in the hopes of finding a spot that has a great library program where they will be able to get hands-on experience and learn as much as possible from their hundred-hour stint. The pre-practicum students in Dr. Zilonis' management class are also busy visiting schools across the area - as part of their fieldwork requirements (to be completed before the practicum), they must visit and observe libraries at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Last but not least, those in their final semester are starting to keep an eye out for April, which is just around the corner. Portfolios will be spruced up, resumés updated, and SchoolSpring profiles brought up-to-date as job openings for the next school year are posted. It's a never-ending cycle of activity, but I can't wait to get started on my first practicum experience and start thinking about my post-GSLIS life.