Thursday, December 19, 2019

First Semester Reflections

Since starting a new job as the teacher librarian at Bethel Middle School in Bryant, Arkansas as of August 2019, I have a lot to celebrate. When starting a new job, one never knows what to expect. There are new people to meet and learn about. There are new administrators, different students, new processes, and so much more to consider in a transition.

This semester I focused on continuing what the previous librarian had started. She had done an excellent job of creating a welcoming environment, establishing a makerspace, and developing the library collection.  I also had a goal of meeting the learning community and getting to know as many of them as possible. Whenever I have switched schools or jobs during my career, I never try to change much the first year. I use the initial transition period to learn about the community I'm serving. After I've learned how things work, I gradually introduce a few new programs. This year I had the goal of introducing book clubs, library collaboration activities, Mystery Skype, and Skype a Scientist. I thought these four things might be attainable by the end of the school year. It turns out, they happened in one semester due to the forward-thinking educators that I work with! I'll write reflections about these events as time permits! Stay tuned...

I have always kept up with library statistics so I can give an accurate account of various uses and activities in the library. Our statistics from 8/1/2019 to 12/13/2019 revealed a great deal of activity:

  • Total book circulations 12206
  • Class reservations 488
  • Library collaborations 4
  • Classes participating in collaborations 46
  • Book clubs 1
  • Students participating in book clubs 18
  • Posters printed 248

I am greatly encouraged that our library circulations are this high. It requires a lot of work re-shelving books and doing continuous repair maintenance on them. This work is worth it if students are growing their interest in literacy whether it is chapter books, graphic novels, etc. I'm also proud of our library collaborations. These consisted of our library orientations, our collaboration based on Out of the Dust, a lesson about the characteristics of the science fiction genre I team-taught with an ELA teacher, one Mystery Skype, and one Skype with a Scientist.

I'm already talking to ELA teachers about trying a book tasting for our 6th and 7th-grade students when we return from the district's two-week winter vacation in January 2020. In addition, two of the science teachers have indicated they want to connect with another scientist during the spring semester. I'm excited to see what a new semester will bring!

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