Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Transitioning to a New School

Transitioning to a new school offers an exciting fresh start! This is the time to think about exciting book challenges and activities you want to try in your new school. In my career, I have transitioned to a new school a few times. When you transition, it is important to keep the following in mind:

     Go to the new school a couple of weeks before we officially have to be there.
I cannot stress how important this is! This will help you see what you have in the library before the first few days of school. By going in a couple of weeks before, you are able to get the library organized and decorated to kick off the new year in a new school. Also, you might have a chance to meet new teachers before all the meetings start, which will help build relationships in the building.

         Meet with your principal.
Setting up a meeting time with the principal of your new school is very important. By speaking with your principal, you will understand his goals for the library program. Make sure to discuss the budget as well. Sharing your thoughts about the programs and activities you want to offer in the library during this meeting is a good time to get your principal’s feedback.
Get to know your bookkeeper.
Your bookkeeper will be your friend. You will be working with your bookkeeper for purchase orders and items for machinery in the library (such as laminating film, print cartridges, toner, and more). Additionally, you will turn in your leave requests for  PD days to the bookkeeper. :)

          Build relationships.
Building relationships is the best way to begin marketing the library program. Get to know the teachers. Ask for their input on the collection. Ask what they are doing each week and, if possible, attend the grade level meetings/subject meetings in order to be able to provide the best resources for their lessons and to have materials on hand when students make requests. It’s also important to mingle with the students. Get to know their likes and interests. (Book interests vary from school to school. Make sure to tailor the collection to fit this school’s needs.)

          Ask for help when needed.
It is easy to get overwhelmed when transitioning to a new school. A different protocol, different teachers, different students, different collection needs, and much more. As much as possible, try to stay positive and ask for help/guidance when needed. This will help you to not become overwhelmed and will help you to keep your sanity :)

C. Thomas
MNPS Librarian

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