New Car Smell
I don't know about you, but I kind of feel as if I'm just getting started in my Media Center this year, after one month into the year. I mean I've finally gotten through all of the Orientations, as of Friday, folders are out, apps for Media Helpers are ready, Morning Show is running, etc. But I feel now I can really get going! We've actually been checking out since Aug. 27th, thanks to my finally giving in to doing the Media Orientation for gr. 3, 4, 5 on Closed Circuit TV, then doing Second Grade with one face to face meeting, and First Grade with 2 face to face meetings. But thrown into that air-tight schedule was a week out due to an emergency eye surgery for my husband. He's fine now, and we're getting back to "normal" in the Media Center. But while it seems as if we are just getting started, it also doesn't take long for the newness to wear off, much faster than losing that new car smell!
Our school's theme this year is "Excellence Without Excuses"....inspiring, but doesn't lend itself to any decorations from Demco! Search it on Pinterest and there might be clever signs, but cutouts? Window material? Reading theme? Well, enough, uh, excuses! I like it because making excuses is a pet peeve of mine. Our teachers all have wristbands with the phrase, and hold our arms up in meetings when someone starts complaining or giving an excuse about something. Quite handy...and enables me to hold my ever-ready comment for them. I've probably mentioned this one before, but a classic that I heard in a leadership meeting was when it was a resource teacher's turn to share data, said that she didn't get it done because she was in classrooms all day. (insert eye-roll here...um, isn't that your JOB?) And of course we can cite countless examples of staff members who missed a deadline because they didn't know about it (like the written bulletin, e-mail to everyone, sign by the mailbox and announcement on the Morning Show?) Or the ones that walk into a Book Fair with the comment, "Oh, when did this start?" AAARRRGH! And it's not even "Talk Like Pirate Day'! How can you miss it with all the signs, announcements, etc.? So this year will I wave my "Excellence W/O Excuses" wristband at the person in lieu of an eye-roll or sarcastic mumble under my breath? We'll see! I'm working on reducing my "sarcasm to excuses" quotient this year.
So we can pretty much come up with the "Top 10 Excuses I've Heard" with our eyes closed and our scanners tied behind our backs, but how about the excuses we come up with ourselves. Are you in a big school? Great...maybe more resources/teachers/involvement/Book Fair profits/parking spaces/help for you. Small school? Less classes to schedule/closer relationships/books to shelve/names to know. Poverty school? Renaissance pay/Title 1 funds/attention/appreciative students. Wealthy school? Never mind, we all know you have it great (HA! Talk to them sometime!) The grass isn't always greener! It still has to be mowed and fertilized. Sometimes I'll mention the size of my school, not as an excuse (well, hopefully not), but more to elicit reponses from schools in a similar situation...what works for you, etc. Despite the challenges that come with my large high poverty, highly transient (teachers and students ) school, I'm still here after 10 years!
I love my job, and try to maintain and convey that joy every day, to both teachers and students. Yes we work hard, are tired, and seem to never be done (sorry newbies, it's true!), but I think we are all in our positions because we chose this field and we love what we do. We're in the people business, so let's see what we can do to infuse some joy as we tackle our schedules, budgets, property control, classes, and all the other things on our plate (ooh, almost a twinge of a whine there, Penvose!). Your clientele will truly come to realize that "A Day Without the Library is like a Day Without Sunshine"!