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New Year’s Resolutions for School Librarians

There are mixed opinions about the practice of setting New Year’s resolutions, and I see both sides. Done irrationally, or with the idea that you must radically improve yourself by societal norms overnight, decisions can be useless at best, or mentally (or physically) harmful at worst. The sinking that often floods our streams of consciousness during the usual month of January includes unrealistic goals for weight loss, the standard of “running a marathon” even if running isn’t something you care about, and the impulse to read “better” books, as if classic books Or realism is somehow more moral than the kind you prefer. Navigating can be really cumbersome, and I understand why some have found it easier to cut the process all together.

However, some people find themselves motivated to imagine what they would like to achieve and to carefully determine the steps to take towards that ideal future. There are many different ways to achieve this while prioritizing your mental health and avoiding the impulsive desire to change overnight. I really love the work of Dani Brufoldt of Thyme is Honey, who has a lot of tips on productivity and goal planning, including excellent free workshops and resources. The pinnacle of other successful solutions is defining the daily habits and routines that will help you work toward your goal. As always, there is a book for that – check out this list of books on habits.

If you’re interested in new ideas and new beginnings in your library, below I’ve compiled some examples of New Year’s resolutions for school librarians. Being in education for the past few years has been painful and stressful. These decisions are designed to ease your workload and possibly rekindle the spark of joy as health protocols and increasing case numbers have dwindled for many. Hopefully, at least something on this list will give you an idea that can make the next part of the school year a little lighter, simpler, or more exciting.

Just work your hours

If you work in a public school, you will likely have a contract. It has always been a staple of the profession to laugh at how inappropriate the hours paid in teaching contracts are — the actual work required to run a class, meet other professionals around the students, and deliver high-quality interactive lessons that work on contract term. an agreement. Advice to avoid working outside the contract can be really frustrating. However, I encourage you to try to at least reduce the time you spend working for free. I find it easier to make this change at the end of the day and try really hard to leave on time, even when only one more time The task calls.

To make this work, I started making more shelves while the students were with me in the library. I was feeling like I had to wait for classes to finish, but there are plenty of classes and books, so I stopped feeling guilty about being a librarian when the kids were in front of me. Same goes for covering new books or fixing broken books – my roles as teacher and librarian can fizzle out together and that’s totally fine.

Use the top 3

This is a very simple habit that supports the decision to “just work your hours”. I found these cute sticky notes at the beginning of the school year that simply say “Top 3” and have three squares. Every morning, I put down the three things I hope to achieve that day. Sometimes this is as simple as remembering to play a book for a particular teacher. Sometimes it’s more ambiguous, like “staying on top of the shelves.” Even though I chose to use it, it’s so essential when the daunting task of teaching seven lessons a day while developing and managing a library collection becomes so overwhelming. It’s my number one stress reducer and on the days when it’s more difficult, one of my first three tasks is always to “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Emphasis on reading for fun

This decision is more of a lifestyle than a task to check, and that’s perfect! I have made a conscious effort to ensure that my language, even when writing the objectives or describing the lesson to my students as they enter, assures that we are in the library to find books that we find interesting. I always make sure to mention the difference between academic reading (at our specific reading level, which aims to teach us a particular skill, a ‘must’) and reading pleasure (the subject we are interested in and choose for ourselves, can be any reading level, just for fun, scores may change times before we find the level we want to keep). Sometimes teachers need this reminder as much as students do.

To achieve this, I constantly remind students that they can DNF (not finished) and set up pull-ups so the kids don’t actually scan their books on the computer until the end of the lesson, allowing books to be swapped out until the end. Sometimes it is necessary to remind students that they like different things and commenting on other people’s book choices in a negative way is a tricky move. In general, set up an atmosphere where children never have to justify giving away a book and are always ready to offer something else. They read for fun.

Select 3 new groups of Swiss Army for your residents

This will save you the decision when each file dog man Books are withdrawn repeatedly. I’m personally working on this as early 2022 and now that I’ve been personally with the kids for a few months and can really see the current trends in the withdrawals. It’s usually variable, but there’s always a certain series the school sticks to, and unless you have an unlimited budget, there aren’t enough copies of some books.

The Swiss Army Recommendation is something that works for just about everyone, a book with great appeal. For my own needs, I also look for books that I can associate vaguely with very popular titles, either to help students branch out or just to give them something to do when they have the library on Thursday and never get the latest options. For researching these magical unicorn books, Book Riot is an excellent resource! I also love scrolling on Pinterest (lots of librarians have done the base work for “If you like Series X, try Y!”) and follow a lot of Bookstagram accounts. The ideas are there!

Create one lesson you’re excited about

I will ask you some selfishness with this decision. Instead of focusing on the lesson most needed by your building teachers, or the lesson most important to your students’ needs, I’m asking you to really focus on something You are excited. While other descriptors are important and a vital part of the overall curriculum, there are times when we need to immerse ourselves in what we do. This is your chance!

It might be a book tasting, a read-aloud lesson based on a cherished childhood nickname, or a Mock Caldecott poll session (annual personal favorite). Perhaps ask your students to research the Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus to work on media literacy, or use Google’s digital citizenship curriculum and play Interland games. We are teachers and therefore, we are stressful. If you’re able, a lesson you’re excited about can be very refreshing in times of incredibly uncertain.

We hope you’ve found something above that piques your interest, either as a decision you’d like to experience firsthand or an idea that sparks something personal. Being a school librarian is an absolute fun and a great challenge. Take care of yourselves, and thank you very much for bringing the joy of books to these lucky students!

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