Librarian Shares Passion For Teaching
School librarian MJ Rosensweet shares his passion for teaching in this interview by children’s book author, Lisa Caprelli. His early childhood experiences and challenges were overcome to be able to serve children as an educator. Here is more in-depth story about the world of this librarian serving the community in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Rosensweet was born in Brooklyn New York, but grew up on Long Island. He currently is an elementary school librarian with a teaching background.
Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement. -Matt Biondi
His family is proud of his journey. It’s cool to be a librarian and as he points out, “My kids are very happy that I can lend them books from my library whenever they want. My parents cannot believe that I, once a horrible student became a teacher. I know they are proud that I’ve been in education for 30 years.”
Yes, he professes that he was a horrible student. He was unmotivated, bored, and slightly arrogant. He was bound for college because it was expected of him.
Something he would tell his eight-year-old self: Don’t be such a stubborn unmotivated kid.
MJ was accepted into The University of Tampa, and he felt amazed by the freedom, yet, at times, too much to handle. He did not have the skills to manage that freedom and the work it required. After his lackluster Freshman year, he was kicked out. He begged to be given another chance, and was granted another semester to raise his GPA.
Failing to raise his GPA, he felt that it was impossible to dig himself out of the hole he had created.
Sometimes it takes someone else to recognize your potential, and that was his counselor, Jeff K. He gave MJ certain conditions which he ultimately met while taking education classes taught by Helene S. and Ed C. He soared in these education classes and discovered his passion. The bad student eventually becoming the best teacher. It was a significant metamorphosis.
Kids and books are the best thing about being a librarian. MJ fell into the position of being a librarian after he had been a 5th Grade Teacher, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, and an IT Director for 27 combined years.
The principal was looking for a dynamic educator to revitalize their program and he took the job the next day.
MJ feels that most people don’t know what others do unless they’ve done it and that is what do most people not know about the great work of a librarian. MJ will be sitting in the Media Center and to the students that walk by may look at him through the window and assume that he is not even working, but in reality, MJ is cataloging, labeling, planning themed backpacks, doing homework, building curriculum and lesson plans.
Teachers will want to work with MJ on the many ways he can help. He gives a “menu” at the beginning of the school year. Many take him up on it and he wishes more would take advantage of the menu.
MJ’s years of experience and his reputation had a lot to do with how he gained his current position. He states that the hardest part of keeping his job was that he has to get another Master’s Degree (MLS). He has a Masters in Special Education and a degree in School District Administration.
Goodreads, Amazon, ALA.org, Common Sense Education, Nationalbook.org. Are websites he goes to for information and ideas that spread positive messages about the love of books and reading.
More Fun Facts About MJ Rosensweet and his Passion for Teaching and Sharing
He has enjoyed learning 3D printing capabilities and technology because he thinks it’s the geek inside of him when it comes to toys. He approaches 3D printing as a game. He embraces the challenges of it and uses these tools to teach the positives of failure.
The ability to learn a new process and work through the intricacies of a program makes the 3D printing world exciting. “I love the concept of people becoming Single Item Manufacturers. I’ve had kids print a missing chess piece instead of buying a whole new set. I have a former colleague who printed the casing to an antique compass that he couldn’t find elsewhere. I love telling my students that the skills used in learning how to 3D print can span over a wide range of industries from buildings, to glass, to chocolate. The techniques are the same, but the technology has to be created to handle their ideas,” he adds.
WHAT USING THE UNICORN JAZZ 3D PRINTING MOLD WAS LIKE:
The amount of failure involved is amazing. To print Unicorn Jazz took me four modifications, and with each one, I had to wait for the print to hit the potential point of failure to see if it would work. It takes time, and my fix is really simple, but it took several hours over 2 days to make it happen. This has to do with work schedule of course, as well as the printers I have. They have no stop print function, so I have to turn the machine off to cancel a print. It’s not hard, just time consuming.
SOME OF HIS FAVORITE BOOKS
As a child, he enjoyed Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, UFOs and such. Recent favorites are:
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- The Color of Water by James McBride
- All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook, by Leslie Connor
His FAVORITE POEM is “IF” by Rudyard Kipling.
Something interesting that many people don’t know is that MJ collects Russian Enamel and Silver from the 1880s.
He loves reading comics, and Identifying coins and stamps. He is currently finishing his third post grad degree, and figuring out how to acquire more rental properties. And perhaps some day we may see a book of his own authored at a library one day through his joy of writing.
Beyond a librarian and passion for teaching, MJ wants to be known for being a good, honest, hardworking creative and equitable person and being a great daddy to his two kids.
When MJ’s not working he enjoys hiking and running having done 6 marathons, many halves, and many many 5 and 10Ks. And even more spending time with his children matters as he puts it “my children are my world, my millions. I love everything I do with them, and use that to help me get through my work days faster.”