So this article has been making its rounds today. It’s generating a lot of traction in my area that includes some panicked school librarians. Can you hear them screaming, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”? Click here to see the pic if it is not pictured below.
As expected many are knee jerking with their reactions. For those of us in South Carolina, particularly the upstate of South Carolina, this is just a tad too close for comfort. I live roughly 30 miles south of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District, just on the border, but on the SC side. I wonder if my own school district is watching this…
I am dismayed though at the ‘woe is me, what will my school district do, hand wringing’ effect the article seems to be having on many right here in my state. They are responding with these “types” of cries, though I am specifically not using any one person’s actual wordings–the description is my own interpretation. I get very frustrated when I read these, as well as the select few who add to the discussions with the “told ya so” diatribe. It is NOT HELPFUL people. So I challenge you to break the mold, and instead of stirring this pot already thick with woe, please, please, please give those in need some ideas–an ACTION PLAN to save their hides in their jobs.
My recommendation (and rant I suppose:)
The solution is advocacy, and not something SCASL, AASL, or ALA can provide, but HOME GROWN. If you do not market what you do for your school to your site admin (translated building administrator–the one who decides how to divvy up the funds) you very well may be on the losing end of the cuts. The cuts are deep and difficult.
So what should you do?
Collect testimonies in the format of notes, letters, emails, etc, and put them in front of your principal. Add these to your monthly report that is filled with your schedules, numbers in classes, numbers in individual and small groups, notes from collaborative meetings with teachers, descriptions of lessons you are teaching/coteaching, sample products from those lessons, a standards alignment of those lessons that show a strong tie of curriculum standards, information standards, media literacy standards and more, etc. Include pictures and descriptions of reading events (i.e. poetry slams, books passes, book clubs, the Read-in.) Include extra curricular activities and even professional development you have partaken of on your own time (i.e. TL Cafe, ISTE SIGMS One Tool at a Time events, other free webinars.) Demonstrate to the money holder the wide impact you have on your school and its entire community! Provide a variety of formats to flash and dash in front of this administrator including digital products (like a flashy Animoto) or a plain old fashioned scrapbook (and we all know administrators who will be much more responsive to the plain old scrapbook than the flashy Animoto.)
Being negative does not help.
The thread here while shocking and informative is not helping. Stop being a part of the problem by chiming in with whining, complaining, ‘woe is me’ comments, and instead share some solutions.
Just my two cents.
You are singletons in your building for the most part, so MAKE SURE your students, parents, teachers, and ESPECIALLY your administrator who holds the money bags knows your impact. I know and value your worth. Do you? Does your administrator?