Working Under New Leadership

I can't remember what I have written about my school in regards to leadership, but this school has a new principal this year.  He is a very nice man, however, he is not as dynamic or as engaged in creating a collaborative community (yet) as the previous administrator.

My supervisor is struggling with change in leadership as she had built an eight year relationship with the previous administrator.  I can see where this change can be difficult for everyone - including the new principal.  However, I'm trying to remind myself that if I'm faced with this situation (as I will be) that it's important to mourn the loss but move on and embrace the change.  I think I'll try and build myself a little "welcome to the school" kit so that with each new principal, I'll have a way of not only welcoming them but allowing them to get to know me and what I can do (my vision, goals, etc.) for the media center.  I haven't ask my supervisor what she has done to invite the new principal into the media center, although I'm sure she has done something as she's that sort of person - very inclusive, welcoming, etc.

Wednesday was my first opportunity to see how classroom management is done with a class that is completely unruly.  We spent a great time corralling, separating, stopping, etc. for poor behavior in the 4th grade class.  It was so frustrating!  My supervisor and I talked about this and how she picks her battles.  I'm going to have to remember not to gripe over every little interruption, etc.  I think some of my strategies will be to separate kids into small groups and have hands activities, too.  I've noticed that they do not do well in the afternoon.  The 3-5th grades are just not motivated to 'sit' and a hands-on activity or something where they can work together on a project might go over better.  Anyway, that's what I'm going to try when I have them so I can see if a collaborative model will work better for them to learn.


A day in the life of a volunteer school librarian....

I've been such an awful blogger this semester, partly because I'm bloggin' on Blackboard (or "The Costco of Online Learning") and partly because I'm friggin' overwhelmed in my new career path. I'm loving it, but I'm just a fish out of water right now...So I'm taking some of my "Costco" posts and putting them online to share...enjoy! It's been eye-opening ; )


This week we are on the "A" schedule and have K-2 during the mornings. The school librarian is working with the K's and 1st graders on the parts of the book and how to protect the books when they are checked out. This was a really cute lesson with "Mr. Wiggles" the worm and the book was all drawn on and pages were torn/ripped. Another example that she showed was a book with a spine damaged so that the pages all fell out. The school librarian combined her lesson with hands-on examples, as well as, using the E-beam technology to reinforce the 'do's' and 'don't's' of taking care of library books. She introduced the children to the 'not' symbol and but them on things like a glass of water or a car. She emphasized that places the books are safe are in their book bags. 

To get the kids to remember the parts of the book, she used a rapping technique. Today, she wanted them to remember the parts on the front cover so she would say, 'T' is for Title' in a chant or rap. Then she would just say "T is for"...and they would say back "Title". It was cute and fun and they got it quick! She read a cute book that had a hand puppet (it was a book) associated with it. The book puppet has words such as 'title', 'author', 'spine' and the children need to put the words on him in the right spots. The book covers where all the info goes, too. 

The K's had a difficult time sitting still for the book. The school librarian not only read the book to them, but has it placed on a stand with a document camera in place. The document camera projects the book onto the white board so all the kids who are upfront can see the book pages better.

With the 2nd graders, she focused on them learning how to check-in their books. She had a nice powerpoint and also incorporated the rapping technique to help them understand where the books go on the shelving cart: E's (top), F's (middle) and #'s (bottom). She has her library organized by streets, so E's are 'everybody street' and are primarily picture books, easy readers; F's are for Fiction and #'s are Non-fiction. 

Today was a great experience for me as I was able to see some instruction, but probably just as important was the classroom management. Some techniques I thought were very effective such as calling on people by name to get their attention or reminding them that their reward - a tiger paw - was going to be taken away. (I have to ask what they get for the tiger paw!) However, the 2nd graders didn't get one today. One little boy in the K's tore his name badge with barcode in half. When the teacher came back to get the class, she told him she was "sending him home to his Mama hungry". The little boy had told me earlier that he wouldn't be able to get lunch because he tore it. I felt badly. I understood that he was being a discipline problem (lots of acting out during the school librarian's session), but not having lunch wasn't going to help his behavior improve for the remainder of the day. (I found out later he did get lunch and was very much relieved!)

One particular thing that really floored me was how inattentive the K's were during the book reading. Not one of them could sit still. It was so obvious to me that their parents don't read to them, probably never took them to a story time and most likely, prop them up in front of TV or a video game. I have a child this age and she would have had no problems sitting through story time. I could understand it if was the last thing that they did in the classroom time, but this was one of the first things the school librarian did! It just makes me more thankful that I have given my children the gift of reading and story hour. It does make a difference.

On a happy note, I received hugs from all the students I met today! I loved that part the best. Wednesday, I get to observe one of the classroom teachers, although I'm not sure which one. I get in early on Wed. mornings so we will have time to decide who I can observe before the pace of the morning sets us in motion. On the "A" weeks, I will be hitting the ground running!