Visits to the Media Center
Most teachers take their students to the media center at one time or another. Just as with field trips, it is important that you plan exactly what you want students to do while they are there. Further, it is very important that students know and follow the rules that you establish.
Check with your media center to find out how to reserve time for your students. Many schools only allow a limited number of classes in each period and these time slots will often fill up quickly. If you are planning on having students write a research paper, then you will want to block out the required time as soon as you can.
Making Visits Productive
When you take your class to the media center, your students must have a clear purpose for being there. For example, if you are working on research papers in class, it is important to give students time to research at the library. However, if you simply let them go to the media center each day without requiring daily progress reports, you may find they have wasted their time.
Make goals for students each day you are in the media center. For example, if your class is working on research papers, a student's goal for one day might be to find and report on three or more possible sources. You can judge whether you have given them enough work if many students complete the minimum requirements and then try to turn to other work or spend time doing personal things. It is imperative that you circulate among your students to make sure they are on task.
Importance of Rules
It is very important that students behave while they are in the media center. Rightly or wrongly, their behavior is a reflection on you. Media center personnel will often bend over backward to help teachers. However, teachers who have horrible discipline skills will not get the same consideration. (It's important to stay on friendly terms with media center personnel and other staff.)