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.
It is a new year, and I wanted to let you know that things are really working out for me. I stayed in my job, and have achieved a nice working relationship with my principal. She really does understand and appreciate what I add to our faculty now. Of course things aren't perfect, but I don't expect that. I really love going to work again, get support when I need it, and I believe my library program is thriving again!! I appreciated your words of encouragement when it was tough going. I got good advice from colleagues in my district, and they were right. They advised... relax, be quiet, stay and things will get better. It has come to pass.
Well, I've had 4 interviews and 1 job offer. I turned down the offer, because I am staying at my current position. I've evaluated all aspects and although I do not work in a truly supportive environment I do have many opportunities. Judi, you remarked about my need for a collaborative environ, and I have a good friend who gave me an excellent suggestion. Our school has an emergency call list (all faculty and staff are listed) and my friend told me to use that list to circle the names of those with whom I work closely and often. When I went through that process I was surprised to see that only a few were not circled. I work in a school where there is respect for me and the library from the users, but I keep wanting that from the front office. I've decided this is a quest of mine... to make a difference with those who need/use the library. If that doesn't include the principal, then so be it. All the important people in the building really love their library and that makes me happy. I'm staying and the administration issues will "move on" some year. I planning some exciting new activities.
Thank you for being so insightful!! Yes, my talents are being wasted. Our SDE has media program guidelines that describe the level of performance within the job. I had worked hard to achieve the highest level of performance. In two years my principal has reduced me back to level one. She removed me from any position of inclusion (no committees about curriculum, NO leadership role, only the bare minimum of professional release time, I'm never selected as the building person to go to district training) and I'm not welcome to provide staff inservice any more. I have done 2 workshops since she arrived, and that was only because I cleverly planned things so it didn't really look like I was training. I said I was showing new items in the collection. I did, but it was a training session about How and Why to include audio books with instruction and for ELL learners; and the other was again about new materials and their use. My talents are totally wasted. I don't receive the full budget and never anything extra anymore. Here's the worst part... our district media coordinator is also the director of elementary ed (boss of the principals), but worse she and my principal are good friends, and social party goers. It's really bad. Happily there is one opening in my district and I have applied. I am waiting to see if I can get an interview. I have no support from anyone in power, but my colleagues (LMS), staff members, students and parents LOVE me. I was the PTA teacher of the year again this year. Thanks again for your support. We'll be chatting again all summer.
I was given fixed plan time this year. When my principal proposed the idea last May she asked me to think about it and provide the best time for my plan to be scheduled. I asked, "Are you creating a fixed schedule for our school library program?" Oh no, she said, but I need your plan time fixed each day so the library is closed and you are available to cover a class if needed. She never discussed it again with me, gave me a plan time and put me on the duty schedule. She closed my library 90 min each day, even though our accreditation guidelines state the school library is open all day every day. I have a very unsupportive principal. She doesn't like me, and doesn't care a hoot about our library. I'm waiting for one of us to move. I look forward to discussing more with you also.
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!)