Five years ago today, I was at the lowest point in my career. I was being transferred from the High School I was teaching at to the one of the Middle School in my district. People including my supervisor was telling others that I was hard to work with, did not know what I was doing, and was not a great librarian. In my heart I knew that they were all wrong but when you hear it long enough you start to believe it.
I was at my lowest point and seriously considered giving up my job and finding something else. I was broken, I was done.
I stopped fighting the transfer and decided to move to the Middle School on the advice of another teacher. Even though she had just met me she saw something in me that I did not see in myself. She knew that I was being held back at the High School. She thought that by having my own library, I could do all the things I had been dreaming of doing but was being met with resistance at the High School. She and a few others, believed in me when the rest of the education world did not.
Looking back five years later, it was the best move I ever made. I was able to rebuild myself all over again. I was able to try new and crazy things with my students. I had an administration, minus my direct supervisor who supported me in my endeavors. I became a stronger person than I ever was before.
I look back on that day now and can't believe how far I have come. I never in my life would have thought I would be a Bammy Award Winning Librarian who is featured in a documentary on using technology in education. Or an ISTE MakingIT Happen award winner, and the 2014 winner of School Library Program of the year in the state of NJ. I also never thought I would be a published author or have a book contract. Never in a million years did I think I would be PD Chairperson for ISTE Librarians Network, a Technology Presenter, or a consultant ( ironically for the district I left) and so much more.
I also never thought I would be in the position I am today. Where my knowledge and expertise and being put to use to help shape the technology in the biggest school district in Morris County.
Five years ago today, I was broken and almost listened to all those people who told me I was not good enough and did not know what I was doing. I am so happy I did not listen!
I am living proof that being broken is really is a chance to rebuild yourself again! Take that chance it is worth it in the end!
Elissa Malespina is the High School Librarian at Verona High School and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.