As the semester is coming to an end I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what I have learned during my time interning with the GIS. In a very broad overview I spent my semester doing classroom observations, teaching library instruction, learning about the philosophy of teaching and library instruction, and even assisting a little bit in a research project.
First of all, I spent a lot of my time this semester doing observations of library instructions. I went to at least one class taught by each of the librarians who have teaches in the first year writing program, but I did not always attend a first year writing program instruction session. In fact I was able to sit in on some upper division and even grad level instruction sessions as well as EN 101 and 102 instruction classes. I am extremely happy about my wide exposer to the variety of classes because it helped me understand how many different approaches library instruction can take depending on the level of the class subject. By watching a variety of instructors teach and having spent some time teaching as well, I have started to develop my own teaching philosophy about how I want to act in the classroom and what I expect from the students. My philosophy is still a working process, but I am happy to have a foundation in which I can start building off of. (For more information on my teaching adventures and classroom observations please look as some of my past posts that are a reflection of my experiences.)
I have had the pleasure of being exposed to small portion of library instruction research. The research project I assisted on is a project that will take a few semesters to complete, but I have had the chance to help with some of the early stages. I helped organize with some of the pre-test survey data and have learned a bit about what they are planning on doing with the information gathered. Getting a small taste of doing research has got me wondering what I might possibly want to research. I don’t have a full understanding of what I want to research, but I think I would like to look into how library instruction can be used in the theory of “Decoding the Disciplines.” This theory is a teaching philosophy that in order to be an affective teacher one must break down every single step needed to preform a task as an expert in the field. Such as, how a geologist makes conclusions while field mapping or how an English professor breaks down literary text to symbolism and meaning. I loved the idea and Sara and I were able to rearrange the readings to allow me to look more deeply into this idea of decoding and then came up with a little side project where I took the syllabus from an Anatomy class and tried to create a series of instruction sessions, class assignments, and in-class exercises that would work with this idea of decoding the discipline of anatomy. I happily thank Sara for introducing me to the theory of Decoding the Disciplines, because it is a topic that I would really like to look into more.
In conclusion I would like to take a minute to express how much I enjoyed working with Sara over the past semester. She has taught me a great deal about what it means to be a library instructor all while allowing me to explore ideas that interested me personally, she let me side track the reading we would talk about in favor of the decoding the discipline papers so I can learn more about a theory I am interested in. Sara really takes an interest in what her interns are interested in and wants them to explore areas they are excited about. I consider myself very luck to have had the chance to work with Sara as her intern.