Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Not Bragging. It's Job Security

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article from Education Week called "A Teacher's New Year's Resolution: Brag More."  It is a fantastic article that I encourage all educators to read because it brings to  light an excellent point: We need to shout from the rooftops the successes that are occuring in our public schools. Here is an excerpt that I just LOVE:

 Let's show them that what happens between our opening and closing bells is just as significant as what happens on Wall Street. When they hear about what we really do—rather than our complaints of low pay, unfair testing, and kids who really are just kids—maybe then we'll start to see some changes. Changes in the conditions we work in, changes in the pay we receive, and changes in the future for our students—which is really what it is all about.   --Julie Conlon

However, I think many educators feel uncomfortable bragging about the success of their students and what they are doing that works well. And librarians, well, we are a humble group. But in this time of budget cuts, it is more important than ever that we share with others what we REALLY do. This is not a time to be humble--it's a time to PROMOTE. That is one of the reasons that I started this blog. I want people to see what really goes on in a busy school library. We must not only change the perception of a school library as a hushed room filled with books, but we must also change the perception of the school librarian. We are TEACHERS.

Here are some of the things that I do in the library to promote this space as a BUSY place of learning:

I post the stats for each six week outside in the hallway so that everyone can see. Here are my combined stats for the first semester (August--December):

Number of lessons taught: 398
Number of students who came in for self-checkout: 1,611
Number of students who visited the library after school: 421
Number of items circulated during the first semester: 23,719

I promote my own personal reading life on the front door of the library. This is a great way to not just "talk the talk" as the reading guru on my campus but to also "walk the walk."

I have also started displaying the bookcovers of all the read-alouds that I do. This helps the kids remember the title of the books rather than saying, "Remember that book that you read to us about the girl..."

These are just a few of my ideas. I would love to hear some of your ideas for promoting your library program! Remember, it's not's job security!

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