On top of all the connecting, learning, teaching, and leading that we do on a daily basis in ourÂ library media programs, how do we make time to improve student and staff relationships and connections outside instructional time? Â We sponsor extracurricular clubs!
Sponsoring an extracurricular activity or club is a great way to connect with the school community outside the academic arena. Leading a group of enthusiastic students in a club or co-sponsoring an activity with a colleague builds relationships that eventually impact our daily work and the school library program and can lead to more advocates for literacy, media and technology.
Leading an extracurricular club letsÂ students and staff see us outside our school librarian roles. Â They get to learn more about our interests, especially if we choose to advise or co-sponsorÂ non-library clubs like the Math Counts team, aÂ craft club, a coding club, the yearbook, or student council. Â Teaching interested students to knit or crochet or to build robots or to craft debate strategies shows off our particular talents, empowers students with new skills, and provides a social backdrop for teaching, learningÂ and supporting our students.
Even if we’re sponsoring a Newbery club or a girls’ book club or a Battle of the Books team, something more traditional to our teaching roles, the benefits to students, staff and ourselves are great. Â We are often more relaxed and passionate because there are no grades involved and we all really want to participate in the activities. Â Club time gives us more opportunity to get to know our students and staff, to learn about their personal lives and interests, and to build those crucial relationships.
What extracurricular activities do you sponsor at your school? Â How does supporting students outside the classroom impact their achievement and your school library program?
Author: Deanna Harris
I have spent my career in education as a middle grades language arts teacher, a middle grades teacher librarian, and a coordinating teacher at the NC Department of Public Instruction. During my twenty-three years, I have focused on teaching and learning, student achievement, and teacher leadership. I have worked with beginning and veteran teachers through mentoring, internships, staff development, and professional learning teams.