Apparently, now it's time to freak out and second guess everything I know I can do.
And then I started to think of the kiddos that would be coming in the fall and filling up those hallways. I thought of the kiddos in the library. And then I felt sick. Sick enough to feel nauseous.
A rush of negative thoughts filled with fear came over me. What if I messed things up? What if I uprooted my own children from what they know and love for something that doesn't work out? What if I made a jump to something that isn't a good fit for me? Or the students? What if my librarian "mojo" is only at the elementary level? What if I have no clue as to how to help the middle school teacher? Or the middle school student?
I'm scared. No, better said, TERRIFIED! I don't know the middle school curriculum. I don't know the middle school environment. I don't know what the middle school teacher/librarian collaborative partnership looks like. I don't even remember my own middle school years. Why do those years feel like they've been erased from my memory? Were they that bad? YIKES! Needless, to say I'm terrified out of my mind and it isn't a good feeling.
Some of that anxiety is coming from my own children. They are not too happy to be leaving the only school they've known and have come to love. They are not too happy to be leaving mommy's side. They are not too happy that they won't know anyone personally in school now that mommy's not in the library. And all of their unhappiness is translating into mommy guilt for me. I know they'll adjust and adjust beautifully. I know they are going to a fabulous school with some fabulous teachers. I know they're upset for now but once school starts they will forget all about being so upset about mommy's rude decision to change things upside down!
Now, I do have to admit some of that fear is welcome. One of the reasons why I made the change from elementary to middle school was for the challenge. The challenge to learn something new. The challenge to take on a new project completely out of my elementary comfort zone. I anticipated this fear. I knew I would feel ill-equipped and I knew I was going to freak out about it. But I honestly didn't think it would be this harsh a feeling.
To try to overcome some of those feelings of anxiety I have been doing my research. Aside from connecting with my fellow middle school librarian colleagues in the district (who, by the way, are a wealth of information and so generous with their time!), I've also been looking for some middle school librarians and teachers on the web. I've been searching for their blogs, their websites, and tapping into their twitter-sphere and facebook. I'll read and follow anyone who lives and works in the middle school world. Working on my Personal Learning Network of middle school librarians has been a great help! And I hope I don't annoy them with my bazillion questions this summer.
I've also been looking at the curriculum as well. Good thing, in middle school there are only 3 grade levels instead of 6 grade levels worth of curriculum to look at! But looking at the curriculum and understanding what it all means for the library is another thing. Without actually talking to my teachers that I'll actually be collaborating with I'm pretty much just looking at a bunch of writing.
I am having some fun just looking around the new-to-me middle school world. But I can't help but to feel a little terrified out of my mind because of this big change. I can harness some of that fear to work for me and the rest I just need to shut it down. Or at least not give it much attention.