The Upside of Transition: A Reflection about Change

Change can be exciting and hard. It is also a fact of life in the world of education. This year my school is going through a tremendous transition. There is a new school building being constructed with a mid-year move planned. Additionally, due to some restructuring, I am working with a new teaching partner and two new grade levels. This is all incredibly exciting but also brings a level of uncertainty too.

My amazing administrator Jenny Bullock (@JenBullock22) has said, “It is like we are traveling down a river. Grab an innertube and jump in.” I could look at this in a negative way, but instead, am going to focus on the upside to this transition.  So here is me grabbing my innertube to share six ways I am embracing this change.

New Perspectives

Working with teachers, that I have not had an opportunity to work with before, will allow me to gain new perspectives about the needs of the students in my school community. The library program has been something I have worked hard to build over the past nine years. I am very close to it. It will be helpful for someone who has an outside perspective to ask questions about our practices. It will allow me to reflect on why we do certain things and will make the program better moving forward.

Opportunities to Share

As I gain new perspectives from my colleagues, I also have an opportunity to share the mission of the library. It has given me a chance to fine-tune my elevator speech as well as highlight some of the great lessons and projects I have had the opportunity to be a part of in the past.


Early in my career, I had an administrator who shared some advice that really resonated with me. She said, “Ya’ll just don’t know. I can’t tell you. I wish I could share everything with ya’ll, but I can’t. So you are just going to have to trust!” She was very southern and I wish I can say exactly as she did, but her point was that I wanted her to trust me as a teacher to do what was best for my students. In return, I had to trust her as an administrator. She was not saying to blindly trust, but to understand that there was a time to share and a time not to. I had to know she would give me the information I needed when I needed it. For this transition to be successful we all have to trust each other.

Is This a Hill I Want to Die On?

This is about recognizing the things that I can change and making those work rather than worrying about things that I have no control over. It is about not sweating the small stuff. If I ask myself this question and the answer is no, then I have to let it go and move on!

Not Exactly

One of my wonderful colleagues, Cheri Dobbs (@CheriDobbs), told me to give myself permission for things not to be perfect. Next year, will be a year of growth. The library program will not be exactly like we want to it be. That is ok! As long as we stay true to our goals and support students the best we can then the rest will come together…eventually.

Take Time for Balance

Most of us know the importance of balancing our work and home life; however, I am not always able to put that into practice. This year I am going to be conscious of this balance so that my innertube does not get a hole in it.

What are your thoughts on change? I would love for you to share!


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: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics

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