So you’ve got a new principal? With so many new MNPS librarians, current librarians switching schools, and principal changes many of us are facing a new school year with a new principal. We all know that a supportive principal makes all the difference. I have been fortunate to work under the same amazing principal for my entire career but this year I have a new principal. I can already tell that I have been blessed by the principal fairies once again but I also have some things I plan to do to make sure that our relationship is off to a good start.
1. Make a strong first impression
Send a welcoming e-mail in which you find a way to highlight your strengths. Mine read something like “I have been the librarian at Glencliff for the past four years and have loved having the opportunity to support teachers in incorporating technology, research and literacy skills into their instruction.” Usually at inservice days I’ll take it as an opportunity to wear my yoga pants for one more day…not this year. I plan to dress professionally from day one to make that great first impression.
2. Have a meeting with your new principal as soon as possible
In your welcoming e-mail request a time to sit down together and discuss the school year and how the library and your role fit into the goals of the school. Include talking points in your e-mail so they know the discussion is worth their time. I suggest beginning this discussion by asking them what role they think the library should play. Then use their answer to align your goals with theirs.
3. Be adaptable & accessible
As librarians we wear many hats. The beginning of the year is very chaotic for us, but it is more so for classroom teachers & administration. Offer to help in any way you can even if it doesn’t fit your job description. I have already offered to walk around to the Kindergarten and First Grade classes on the first day of school to make sure the teachers know how each student is going home.
By following these simple guidelines I know you will begin to form a positive relationship with your principal. Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions you may have!