As I began this 2013-2014 school year a few weeks back, I went to our teacher meetings and in-services like many of you did. We were given new procedures, new standards, new evaluation guidelines and procedure, new technology assessments, new acronyms, new state report cards, and yes, even new parking passes. Wow is all I can say. Teachers are all in agreement that this year the state of Ohio is experiencing more change in our education system than probably any year in recent times. I began to be thankful that as a librarian who is active in OELMA and other state organizations, these changes were slowly introduced and networking allowed me to really be on the cusp of the changes before this school year began and it all was unloaded on us by our administrators. Some teachers looked like a deer in headlights to be honest. I think all teachers across the state can sympathize with the current situation.
I decided to embrace this change and instead of complaining like so many other educators I spoke with, I used this change to reach out to teachers. I quickly offered some new resources-online and print, that would be easy lesson plan ideas for teachers on my new wiki site. I also offered to help collaborate with those teachers who felt as if their world was falling apart. I even volunteered to help be a building trainer for our new reading and math online assessments which all students have to take three times per year per ODE and our curriculum department. I saw these changes as my time to step up and be the teacher-librarian that would prove I am a vital librarian by embracing change, and helping others I work with embrace it. I see many teachers negative and bitter over all the change, but if we want our students to embrace change and be prepared for the future, we must set the example for them by our own actions. Change happens. It is part of life. In all fields, in all our lives, and we need to be that one person sometimes that says, “Hey, it is going to happen, let’s just work together and make it work.” Be that person your teachers and administrators can go to if they need a positive jolt and a resource to help them in their endeavors.
If we want to continue to advocate for our profession, instead of wishing all this would just go away (who knows, it may), let’s embrace it with a new attitude and be the leader we all are in our schools. Let’s step up, put on some Journey music (it can be empowering like no other music), and lead the change. One step at a time, one day at a time!
P.S. On that note, have you registered for our 2013 annual OELMA conference? If not, please do so today! I can only tell you that we will be offering you resources and ideas that will no doubt help your school and your teachers find a new attitude! Please see our Conference link for more information and to register online.