Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer of Preparation

I think for many teachers, summer is a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. Generally, I use this time to catch up on my reading - both personal and professional, I plan to explore some new technologies, and I work on making changes to my program for the following year. It's usually pretty low-key until the last few weeks of August. I have a bit more to prepare for this year as I will be making two gigantic changes next year: a new, flexible schedule and a new role as lead librarian for my district. I am very excited about both of these changes, and also, obviously, a little nervous.

The lead librarian position is one that came about as a solution to a number of issues our district has been facing - both financially and management-wise. We used to have a Library Department head, who'd been in the district for literally 60 (six-zero) years. When she passed away a few years ago, we were left with a void. Due to economic constraints (I assume), the district decided against re-hiring a full time department head. This may not seem like a big deal, but in a district of our size, it's important. So, we have essentially had 2 interim directors while the district worked out how best to manage our department. Their solution was to reduce my position at my school to 0.8 (instead of full-time), and create a 0.2 "Lead Librarian" position. I had to apply for it, and it caused many weeks of anxiety. I did not want to be forced to leave my school, my incredible students, my wonderful faculty, or my extremely supportive principal. I know I am signing up basically to do two jobs for the price of one, but with a community like this, I'm hoping it will be worth it. So, a good portion of my time this summer is going to be spent determining what exactly a "lead librarian" does, and preparing myself to do it.

The flexible schedule change is ultimately another happy result from this change. In doing research to support the library program, my principal took the time to learn what makes a strong library program, including learning about a flexible schedule. We visited a school with a flexible schedule, and decided that it was a good fit for us. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. It's not every day the pieces fall into place to help you make a huge programmatic change, but they did. My faculty is ready for the change, and I know I have a supportive administration. For this year, we are still keeping K-2 fixed for classes, and all classes will have fixed book exchanges. I'm happy with that because I think the youngest students will benefit from regular visits to the library, as well as enjoy other extended visits. The school we visited does a library book camp at the beginning of the year, so that is one (well, several) big project for me to work on. I'm hoping they're going to be really close together right in the beginning of September. I won't have a lot of time to plan then, so I might as well get cracking now!

Phew. When I put it all out there like that, it seems like a bit much, doesn't it? I think it's time for me to take a nap - while I still can. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment