Librarians wear many hats and serve many roles. As we all prepare to start a new year, some of us may find ourselves in new positions or on new campuses, maybe even both. And librarians are among the few on their campuses who have the opportunity, the privilege, and the challenge of greeting and teaching every student in the building. That can be overwhelming at times. So as you start preparing for another year of serving as a mentor, resource manager, makerspace master, media specialist, and more…what can you do to get the year started off just right?
1. Spread the Joy of Reading
Don’t keep your summer reading list to yourself! You know there are students who will be coming back to school, eyes lit up with excitement as they tell you what they read. Maybe it’s not an avid reader, but someone a little quieter or someone new. What can you suggest? Hopefully, you had the opportunity to read something that you can’t help but talk … and talk … and talk about. Your love of literacy and willingness to share what you’ve been reading and what you’re excited about goes a long way in your students’ eyes.
2. Share Your Learning
Educators aren’t just always teaching, they’re also always learning. It might have been a conference, an edcamp, a day at your ESC, a webinar, or a cool new tool your PLN tweeted, but it’s imperative that educators are always keeping up to date with new ideas, resources, and strategies for engaging students and improving student outcomes. And when you’ve found that great new idea or tool, don’t hesitate to share it. Use it with your own students and also spread it through your network, so all librarians and educators can benefit.
3. Embrace the New Standards
You know there are new standards, right? Whether we look at national standards, the Future Ready Librarians framework, or right here in Texas, we have new standards. Look them over and then identify two takeaways. One should be one that you already implement well, but want to take to the exceptional level. The other should be one that is definitely a work in progress (or lack thereof). So in other words, set one new goal and one goal to knock out of the proverbial ballpark.
4. Build That Network
Now is the perfect time to strengthen your PLN. And there’s no better way to do that than to join #txlchat on Tuesdays starting in September. This chat provides “a forum to create, collaborate, and share educational resources, and foster continuous professional growth.” Whether you spend time just lurking, check out the archive, or dive right in, you will build a PLN that includes not just Texas librarians, but folks from all around the country!
5. Join LIB-SIG
Are you a TCEA member? If so, then you’ve already gotten access to great resources for technology integration in schools. But if you’re a librarian who sees the value of increasing your knowledge and resources and building a community, then it’s time to take your membership a step farther. For only $10 on top of your TCEA membership, you’ll be part of a special interest group dedicated to providing resources to support your teaching and learning. LIB-SIG offers monthly members-only webinars. A members-only newsletter will be shared in the LIB-SIG Community each month as well. We’ll also offer tips and suggestions for Twitter, Google, ed tech sites and apps, and programming ideas.
6. Follow Us
And for our final tip for getting back to school with the right attitude and resources to have your best year ever is…Don’t forget to follow @TCEA and @TCEALIBSIG. We’ll keep you current all year long with great ideas to implement in your library.
But most importantly, enjoy the year. Be intentional, be present, and be amazing!
This is a guest blog by Kristi Starr, the President of LIB-SIG. She’s also the library media specialist and co-campus technology leader at Coronado High School in Lubbock ISD. To our librarian followers, stay tuned. This is the first in a monthly series of blogs from LIB-SIG.