Week One of my Information Instruction Internship

Looking through my notes from last week, the first real week of the internship, a few key concepts are emerging. One, I’m not a laid back person, and was overwhelmed with not understanding the ins and outs of the internship. Two, it all settled down, just as Sara said it would. Having schedules ironed out and expectations verified allowed a huge sigh of relief.
But then…on to the things I actually should be concerned with. Our first demonstrations were 5 minute introductions to SCOUT, and it turns out that explaining SCOUT can be difficult. Not only because the search isn’t always intuitive, but because it is hard to turn a thought process into coherent instruction. And even harder to get across all of the inner dialogue that you are typically able to ignore. An unexpected search return may usually lead to a quick scroll through the mental rolodex to find new terms or improved search strategies, but we’re usually only barely cognizant of having gone through that process. Explaining or teaching that process seems..daunting.
My favorite quote from last week’s reading is “The most effective teachers use class time to help students think about information and ideas the way scholars in the discipline do”. What a perfect way to look at teaching, but what a difficult task. In our case I feel that, at least on some level, we are the scholars in the discipline, trying to teach others how we think about searching. Which means I need to figure out how _I_ think about searching.

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