Faster than a laser barcode scanner,
More powerful than a superhero,
Able to leap tall shelves in a single bound,
Look, over in the library!
It’s a teacher!
It’s a leader!
It’s a learner-ready school librarian!
Are you feeling your inner school librarian superhero? Now that it is May, are you celebrating your school year? Have you reflected on your successes, collaborations, co-teachings, learner projects, literacy adventures, tech feats, innovations, failures, and plans for moving forward? Have you shared this year’s stories and your hopes and dreams for next year?
Annual reports are a golden opportunity to share your stories. Engaging in annual report writing lets you do three things you do not always have a lot of time for in your busy school librarian life: advocate, reflect, and vision.
Annual reports are a unique platform to share your work as it aligns with the National School Library Standards. It is easier and more impactful than you might imagine. Below I provide some real-life examples.
Let me provide the why for this alignment with the AASL Standards:
- An annual report lets you reflect on all the things you are doing that dovetail with the AASL Standards; an annual report also allows you to consider how to transform your practice for next year.
- It provides a realization for those who read your annual report that you, too, have rigorous standards that you are responsible for.
- An annual report tied to standards enables all readers who might not be as conversant in the AASL Standards as you to have a picture of what the National School Library Standards look like in practice.
- Most important an annual report gives you a starting point to have a conversation with your administrator (and anyone else who reads your annual report) about the work you do, where you’re going, and what support you need in the future.
My suggestion is to share your annual report with your principal before you leave for the summer. Make an appointment and keep it positive by sharing your successes and your dreams for next year. Always bring doable solutions to the challenges you identify.
To begin your annual report:
- Use the six Shared Foundations from the National School Library Standards as categories in your report. Address all six in your report.
- Share your stories, pictures, successes, testimonials, and statistics tied to all six Shared Foundations. Be creative.
- In addition to your reflections on the 2018–2019 school year, be sure to identify one goal for each Shared Foundation for 2019–2020.
- Be creative about your delivery. Consider using Canva, Piktochart, Smore, Google sites, or another infographic, website, or video format for your report. Photos provide powerful snapshots of your important work. (Remember: If you use pictures or videos of your learners, be sure they have permission to be pictured.)
So what might you include in your report?
- INQUIRE might highlight examples of inquiry units you have done with classroom educators. You might show or describe products of learning or examples of learner questions about the curriculum concept being studied. Your goal for 2019–2020 could be to offer more INQUIRE opportunities for particular grades or subjects.
- INCLUDE could outline work you have done to help learners understand inclusiveness and respect diversity. You might share titles in your collection that honor diversity and inclusion and how you used them with learners. You could also highlight learners engaged in literature circles during lunch or before/after school reading groups using photos.
- COLLABORATE could feature photos or stories about learners as they participate in groups via shared documents, shared classroom online learning spaces (such as Google Classroom), face-to-face discussion groups, or collaborative work where learners are sharing through work shown on whiteboards or poster paper. Your plans for 2019–2020 might be to host online book discussions for classroom educators.
- CURATE might spotlight examples of learners’ curations or the work you have done with learners to know if information is accurate. The Symbaloos of resources you design for your young learners or the creations by your older learners that depict their own visual of resources they have found would be great examples.
- EXPLORE could focus on learner work that demonstrates the use of a design process while making. This could be snippets from a learner or teacher interview. For example, a learner might discuss or provide a quote about their making process. A quote could be exhibited alongside the outcome or product of the making. Your plans for 2019–2020 might be to engage classroom educators in professional learning about a design process and relating it to deep learning. for classroom educators.
- ENGAGE might include pictures of learners sharing information ethically to an authentic audience. You might show a screenshot from learner-created websites to share new knowledge.
Share your inner school librarian superhero through your learner-ready school librarian annual report. Dream big!
Author: Kathryn Roots Lewis
AASL President 2018-2019