The last two weeks of school are hard. We see the finish line in sight, but there are so many steps to reach it. Our classroom teachers feel the same way. This is a great time to encourage others and create an even more inviting atmosphere for teachers by inviting them to stop by during planning time or breaks.
In the school library, we try to creatively draw teachers into the space as a way to support them. It is a great way to increase positive interactions with all staff. I am always hopeful that these connections help with the following school year as we work with teachers to plan lessons, events, and other activities.
Here are a few ways we invite connections with other staff members at the end of the school year:
Create encouraging notes for staff mailboxes. One year, we asked a local spice company to donate taco seasoning packets for each staff member. We put an encouraging note with it (with help from Pinterest). This year, with our new laser cutter, we created a coaster with the school name designed by a student for every staff member.
All year we keep a jar of chocolate in the library workroom. Many staff come through the library and workroom just to grab a piece of chocolate. This is so simple but it can add to a positive outlook of the library. (We shop the sales after Halloween and other events to get good deals that last through the year. No high-end chocolate either–small packets M&Ms are a favorite.)
Professional Learning Books
I know–not as exciting. Our administrators usually launch the focus for the following year around April and May. In our workroom (by the chocolate), we display educational books. I usually look for quick reads or something the staff or administrators have mentioned previously. Click here for our professional book list.
We pull great books from our collection. I like to pull some that students love and others that I think staff would enjoy. We also have a few teachers that create a stack of books to check out over the summer. Each time they are in the school library, they grab another book for the stack. The last day, they check out their pile of books.
Just this year, we posted on Instagram and Twitter a few staff members’ stacks of books for summer reading. Several students commented on the large pile of books; they were amazed that teachers would read so much during the summer. It is also fun to see staff send us their book photos via social media and have others comment.
What other ideas can you add? What do classroom teachers in your building love to see in the library?
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience in education. Becca is the Coordinator for Library Systems in the Blue Valley School District. Previously, she was school librarian at Blue Valley West High School. She opened two buildings in Blue Valley and spent some time as an Ed Tech Specialist before returning to libraries. Becca supports over 45 librarians and support staff as they work to fulfill the mission of flexible scheduling, collaboration, and literacy.