This week was a short but interesting week at my school. We finished up our first nine-week quarter with final exams last Friday, so technically Monday and Tuesday were our fall break. Tuesday was actually a staff development day, so even though teachers were back, students had an extra day off. It was great to get some time to work on things around the media center and take a bit of a "breather" before starting up again for the second term on Wednesday.
On Tuesday I tried something with staff that I've never done before--I invited them to a media center evaluative feedback session. Our school will be going through some big changes over the next few years as our headmaster retires in the summer of 2017, and I want to be sure that our library media program is ready to meet the dynamic needs of a shifting faculty, student population, and curriculum. I walked teachers and staff through four main areas of discussion (as seen in the document above): collections, teaching and collaboration, reading promotion, and facilities. Although they were welcome to comment on the lower school media center program, most of the topics were geared towards the upper school media center. The session was held in the morning between department meetings, and even though it was entirely optional, I had a about 20 people show up--a number I was pleased to see!
My main takeaways from this feedback session were twofold: 1) collaboration seems to be very helpful for those teachers who take advantage of it and we need more of it, and 2) I need to do a better job of promoting library services and programs in general. This may sound funny, but sometimes it seems like teachers just forget about the library. During the session, they seemed a little sheepish about their lack of knowledge on what we do and why. They forget that we purchase all of the newest releases and most popular books (so there's no need for them to go out and buy them!); they forget that students should be taking advantage of library resources for classes and for pleasure; they forget that our primary function is to serve them and their students. If nothing else, the feedback session was a good reminder of what they library is and does. In the following days, more teachers reached out for collaboration and brought their students into the library than I had seen in quite a while.
Another big part of my week consisted of teaching Weebly for digital portfolios to the AP Language students. These classes are the first to receive Weebly instruction as part of the new digital portfolio curricular initiative. Instruction went very well, and I'm excited to see how students' Weebly sites will turn out. I'll be back in class with them next week, so I'm looking forward to giving an update.