Offering Students a Place to Connect - Megan Eddy ’19, ’20 (M.S.)
There isn’t an industry, sector, or profession that hasn’t felt the jolting changes caused by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. But, it could be argued that education, in particular, has felt that disruption more than other entities, as teachers, administrators, students, and families experience new models of education together. This fall, Collegium is highlighting Fisher alumni educators who are letting their creativity fly in this new educational landscape.
In eight months, Megan Eddy has already devoured 40 books. She reads for joy, but also to identify new titles to add to the library at Mont Pleasant Middle School, where she works as a library media specialist. After earning her bachelor’s degree in inclusive childhood education and psychology, with a minor in Spanish, from Fisher in 2019, Eddy enrolled straight into the College’s master’s in library media program upon graduation in hopes of working in a school library.
“The librarian was my favorite person in elementary school, so I guess it’s not a big surprise that I fell in love with working in a library,” she said. “I really want to be an active part of students’ learning, so I provide hands-on, project-based learning where students have a choice and a voice in what they are doing.”
Proof of the success of her approach came in the form of a small group of students who started coming to the library every day during their reading blocks and lunch hours.
“It was the first time that I had students who were really excited to be in the library and really loved reading,” she said. “It was special and inspired me to do more activities in the library.”
Eddy began engaging with students by having them write book reviews, and started a STEM Club for the students. As school transitioned online this past spring, she hosted virtual meet-ups through Google Meet so the students could continue to socialize.
In schools, librarians are experts not just in the collections their libraries hold, but in media and information technology. Eddy ensures that her students have equitable access to e-books and digital resources, understand safe digital citizenship, and develop media literacy, honing their ability to critically evaluate and process information they’re finding online. She also provides professional development to the teachers in her school. Over the summer, she helped create modules to teach the teachers how to use the Google suite of resources, databases for curriculum, and virtual assessment tools.
As she has helped her colleagues navigate online learning, Eddy said she’s been able to consult with faculty members at Fisher, particularly Jennifer Cannell, chair of the library media program. Together, Eddy and Cannell have created a plan for this school year, discussing where students should be academically using the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum, which emphasizes inquiry-based standards organized by grade level. They discussed where students most likely were prior to the school closure in March, and then they selected priority skills to work on with students in the coming year.
“The connections I’ve made with my Fisher professors have been really important,” Eddy said. “Any time I’ve had a question or problem, someone has been there to help me.”