Connecting with New Teachers

Connecting With New Teachers

(*The clipart was purchased from

Have you ever felt alone in a new place? Did you wish that you had someone to help you get acclimated? Personally, when I started new jobs, I was not sure who I could go to to ask basic or silly questions. What time does the cafeteria close? I have my paperwork. Where should I submit it? How does the duty schedule work? Are there unspoken rules that I don’t know?

Each year new teachers are hired and have the same questions. Some are seasoned, and others are just beginning a new career. Regardless of the stage, they are in; school librarians need to get to know them. Why? Because school librarians need to change the narrative about our roles in schools. We can engage with our communities and build positive cultures.

Moreover, teachers need to know that they have a support network. Mentors can mean the difference between career success and failure. If teachers are successful and comfortable, overall, schools are more likely to be effective.

One of the most natural things that can be done to meet new teachers, besides an orientation, is asking them to complete a survey. Give them plenty of time to respond. Then you can begin to know them without invading their space. Here are some sample questions. It is not an exhaustive list.

  1. What type of teaching experience do you have?
  2. What did you do before you became a teacher?
  3. What are three things that you would like to achieve this year?
  4. What special skills do you have (i.e., drawing, writing, technology)?
  5. How often do you collaborate with other teachers?
  6. Have you ever collaborated with a librarian? If so, what was the project?
  7. Was there an event or project that you saw another librarian complete that you liked? If so, what was it?
  8. Do you have any expectations for the school library?
  9. What type of help do you need to transition into your new position at [NAME] school?
  10. What is the best time to meet with you?

The responses to the survey can inform the conversations that you have with them when you meet. I think of school librarians as consultants with access to a variety of skills and resources that they can share. I always think of my school community as an extended family and customers. There is an interpersonal aspect of being a school librarian that requires us to build relationships while considering our diverse clientele. Do you have questions that you would ask to connect to new teachers? If so, please share.

*The clipart in this post was purchased from
September 2019 Professional Development
Organization Date & Time Professional Development Title September 5, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Supporting English Language Learners with Free Digital Tools
September 10, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Communicating by Generation: Boomer, GenX, and Millennial Parent Preferences
September 11, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in All Classrooms
September 12, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Building Blocks for Including and Teaching Young Children with Disabilities
September 17, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Digital Badge Credentials: Preparing Students with Special Needs for Employment
September 18, 2019 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST K-12 Instructional Materials: What’s New in 2019
September 19, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Lose the Lecture: Engaging Approaches to Early Childhood Professional Learning
September 19, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST What Struggling Readers Wish Administrators Knew
September 23, 2019 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST Best Practices for Managing Differently Abled Students in Your Inclusion Classroom
September 23, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST Culturally Responsive Teaching: Strategies So All Learners Are Seen and Understood
September 24, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Supporting STEAM Learning Through Music


September 24, 2019 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST Creating Fun AND Instructive Learning Centers
September 25, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Storytelling 101: Student Voice in Action


September 26, 2019 – 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST Engaging Students in Science Practices and Moon Phenomena with Digital Media
Simple K12 September 21, 2019 – 10:00 am – 10:30 am EST Google Classroom: Engage and Motivate Students with Hyperdocs
September 21, 2019 – 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm EST 10 Tips & Ideas for Using Google Tools with Learners
September 21, 2019 – 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST Researching Effectively through Mobile Devices: Curation and Aggregation September 12, 2019 – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST Now You’re Speaking My Language: Creating a Successful Bilingual Storytime September 17, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Successful Volunteer Interview Strategies


September 19, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program
September 24, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Successfully Implementing Volunteer Program Changes
September 26, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Creating a Culture of Volunteer Engagement
School Library Journal September 10, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Fall Graphic Novels for All Levels


September 12, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Where the Wild Reads Are: Picture Books for Young Readers

Author: Daniella Smith

Daniella Smith, PhD. is a former school and public librarian. She is currently the Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children’s Library Services at the University of North Texas.

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Professional Development

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