Teacher: “I feel bad asking, but do we have the book I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.”
Me: “We do! I am happy to help you find it. You don’t ever have to feel bad asking!”
Teacher: “Well, I have to ask. If I am being honest I don’t know where things are in the library.”
I thought about our interaction A LOT…like obsessively. I realized I have focused on making the school library accessible, but I have not always done a good job communicating that to other educators. So this year, I plan to host a meeting just for teachers at the start of the school year so they can learn about the school library and how it is organized.
I know that holding a school library “open house” for teachers is not a new idea, but I am hoping to make it fun while keeping it short and sweet. I have found communicating this type of information at the start of the year is the best time to get teachers’ attention and to allow them to plan to use the resources I have to share. Often it is difficult to add things in as the year goes on. Teachers do not have the time or energy to explore.
Before the Meeting
- Signage – This is important for all who are using the school library! I have updated my signage so that everything is clearly marked and easy to identify where each section is located.
- Back-to-School Booklet – I have called this booklet If You Give a Teacher a Cookie They Will Come to the Library. It includes information about what the school library has to offer as well as how to access the resources available. This is an example where I have removed all account information I cannot share. This was created using Canva.
- Invitation – This will be shared before the meeting to encourage teachers to attend. This will include a cookie of course!
During the Meeting
We will start with a tour of the library and the various books you find in each section. I will also highlight information in the booklet to help teachers see what the school library can do for them as well as give them a resource to reference throughout the year. We will definitely eat more cookies too!
Who Will Attend
This would be for teachers and administrators. This meeting will be optional but has been added to the back-to-school calendar so people can plan for it. I also will be giving away a few books to encourage people to attend. The goal is to allow me to build relationships with educators before the year even starts. After the meeting, I will stop in and drop off a booklet to anyone who was not able to attend to make that connection with them.
I plan to hold four 15-minute sessions. I will be meeting with grade levels in small groups so they can ask questions. This way it can be tailored to their specific needs. This will allow it to be informative, but not overwhelming.
The grouping will look like this:
- Junior kindergarten and kindergarten
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade
- Specials area and learning support teachers
This will be hosted around other meetings that we have as part of our back-to-school professional development. Hopefully, afterward, teachers will feel more comfortable finding things in the school library!
How do you connect with teachers and administrators at the start of the school year? I would love to hear your plans!
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).
Categories: Community/Teacher Collaboration