I'm Mike McQueen, teacher librarian and founder of http://www.GettingBoysToRead.com. Like many school districts, we are in a financial crises. Our school board recently proposed to eliminate ALL 20+ middle school teacher librarians and also cut all 90+ elementary schools to half time. Since we are the biggest district in all of Colorado, we worry this will cause other districts to follow suit. We launched an online movement and are going to do our best to put up a good fight.
If possible, please visit our Facebook page and "Like" us http://www.facebook.com/SupportSchoolLibraries . Adding a positive comment and sharing with your friends would help our morale as well. The board finalizes the budget soon so your timely support would be greatly appreciated!
I'm a teacher librarian & recently started a community based blog for getting boys to read - http://GettingBoysToRead.com. Please send me a friend request if you'd like to network, share ideas, and learn more about getting boys to read.
This is an exciting time for your library program and your school. In my first elementary library position, we transitioned from a fixed schedule (29 per week!) to a mixed schedule (14 one week, 15 the next). This freed up half my time for collaborative teaching.
One easy part of this transition was that the teacher had always been required to stay in the library. They already knew the quality of the lessons and resources available through the library program.
Another benefit in this school was that classroom teachers worked very well in grade-level teams. It was easy to build upon what we had been doing in the fixed schedule to provide students opportunities to explore concepts in depth.
The district transferred me to another school after that year - but I am fairly confident the school would have moved to a fully-flexible schedule within a year or two.
I do believe all educators should be from Missouri, the "Show Me" State. Your idea about collecting possible projects related to the standards/curriculum is a good one.
Finding opinion leaders at each grade level with whom you can begin in-depth collaboration is another strategy. Chances are you aren't going to please everyone, but the question becomes: Is it better to expose all students to a wide variety of skills, or is it better to help the greatest number of students possible master those skills and learn strategies that are transferable to other learning situations?
This is a new career for me. I worked for 10 years as a newspaper reporter before my husband and I adopted our now 10-year-old son as an infant from South Korea. When our son started kindergarten, I decided to explore my ongoing curiousity in librarianship. I took a part-time job at our public libary and, soon after, began working on my MLIS. Now, nearly fours years later, I am coming to the end of my first year as a media specialist. It has been an amazing year and I love my job! That said, I think I went into the position with some idealic, perhaps naive, attitudes that most people would understand the important role the media center plays in the school. I eagerly spent much of the past year promoting the media center and its role in supporting the curriculum and promoting reading. Many strides were made! My next hurdle, however, is what brought me to this group! The media center has operated on a fixed schedule for the last 12 years. We are going to transistion to a flexible schedule next year, with the idea of having siginificantly more collaboration between me and the teachers. I'm very excited about the change and have spent alot of time meeting with teachers to talk about why the change is being made and how it will be good for students. I've outlined examples of prjects that we can carry out under flexible scheduling. My principal is very supportive and has spoken to the staff about why we are adopting this approach. But there are still several teachers who are dragging their heals. I would love to hear any advice about how to best make this transistion from fixed to flexible and how to colllaborate with teachers who are extremely resistant! (Some won't even return e-mails!)