Friday, September 25, 2015
In short, I have been very very happily spoiled.
I grew accustomed to always getting what I wanted for my library. Not in a petulant way. It was just my normal.
However, this year, things changed. Things changed without my input. Things changed that had absolutely nothing to do with me or what would work best for MY library. Protestations fell on deaf ears and I'm ashamed to admit, I was a little shocked.
I'm sharing this story not because I think my administration made the wrong call. It's the exact opposite. I think they made the right call! They chose what would best serve our students as a whole; not what would just serve my library. But that can be a hard lesson.
The following blog post is an homage to Dear Sucky Administrator, written by Tony Sinasis on his blog, Leading Motivated Learners, which you can find here. This is the librarians’ version. Thank you Tony for the inspiration.
I am sorry for the choice of words, but you know who you are and you are pretty sucky at your work as an educator and specifically as an information leader.
You are the librarian who gives the rest of us a bad name. You are the librarian who perpetuates the "mean librarian" feeling that permeates many a school community. You are the librarian who creates a "Fortress Library" and sends the message to students and teachers that you are not interested in collaborating, sharing or being transparent about your practices. You are the librarian who spends more time in the back office fixing books, cataloging, and doing "important" work instead of being in classrooms and interacting with students and staff. You are the librarian who does not value relationships with the people around you and is only focused on shhhhhshing people, saying no, and protecting your precious books. You are the librarian who doesn't foster a sense of trust in your school. Basically, you are sucky at your job because you have lost the focus on what matters most in education - KIDS!
Fortunately, it is not too late to turn yourself around and go from sucky to at least halfway decent. Here are some things to avoid in your attempt to exit "sucky-ville"...
Friday, June 19, 2015
A supportive administration listens to your ideas and then brainstorms with you to come up with solutions. They are willing to compromise and may even have the ability to give you the money you need to get started. A supportive administration recognizes that it needs to constantly learn and evolve, and more importantly will allow you to teach them about librarianship and its ideal role in a school community. In short, a support administration is...supportive. They have your back, and in turn, you have theirs. They help you out, you make a rigorous program and facility that bolsters the school community and positively affects student learning outcomes, and you make the administration look good to boot. It's a win-win-situation. It takes time to create a relationship like that though. You need to get a feel for each other's work flows, management styles, and preferred methods of communication. And even if you have the exact same vision, sometimes it just all comes down to personality. Either way, when you have a school where the library media specialist and the building administrators mesh, it's a beautiful thing. So then what do you do when something threatens to change all of that?!
Monday, June 15, 2015
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Here are some ideas to get you through pitching a renovation idea to your school admin.