It is the weekend after school has officially let out. I have now brought several
loads of crap boxes of stuff home from the library. It is currently all living in my living room. I am not done yet, but I am getting very, very close!
It feels really good to dig through my office & library belongings; to cull down and box up, as I prepare the space for my replacement (who just happens to be one of my best friends as well as a colleague!). I feel BOLD. I feel COURAGEOUS. I am excited about this new adventure.
At the end of each school year I always spend a bit of time in reflection. Have I accomplished my goals? What can I improve for next year? How can I better reach my students? How can I better help my teachers? This year I have the opportunity to reflect upon not only the 2013-2014 school year, but the past 11 years as a middle school librarian.
1. I am so very proud of my time bringing both One Book, One School and Read-It-Forward to my library. We have had some amazing author visits and kids who have never owned their own books before now DO.
2. Teen Read Week celebrations have been a highlight. I've had the opportunity to partner with various community members and organizations. The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas has been especially good to me through the years---always coming up with amazing lessons to fit the theme and bringing interesting animals to visit the library. I will be forever grateful!
3. I leave a collection that is rated Exemplary according to TEA standards of age and size. It has taken YEARS to get to this point, but I'm so very proud.
4. My library has a great reputation for being a warm, welcoming place.
5. The relationships I've built with students and faculty are my most prized accomplishments. I am thankful for each and every teacher that has allowed me to collaborate with them and has shared his or her students with me. I am thankful for every student who has crossed my path. I've learned so much from each and every one of them.
Things to improve upon:
1. Patience with myself in learning curve situations. I still suffer from Superwoman syndrome a bit, I'm afraid.
2. Did you read my very first paragraph? I have too.much.stuff. I really do. It is true that I have stored all my library display items, gifted & talented, AND Girl Scout stuff in my library office---but I do plan to really work on paring down my stuff. It is a new chance to be more zen about belongings. With that stated, there is something to be said for having just about anything anyone needs----from craft supplies when forgotten-but-due-today projects are remembered by my students to oh-my-gosh-my-zipper-just-broke safety pins (I cannot tell you how many kiddos have needed these over the years).
If I were sticking around the middle school, I'd have many things to add to a 3rd section of these reflective lists titled: Still to be completed, but since I'm moving on up to the high school, I'm skipping that portion and adding a new one instead----a wish list, a dream list, a oh-boy-I-need-to-learn-this and a wowza-wonder-if-this-would-work list.