During our Fall social emotional learning (SEL) professional development, my co-worker and I moderated a community circle of a small group of staff members. The purpose of this community circle was to “unpack” our experience with doing a privilege walk with these fellow staff members. Our community circle questions included:
1. What happened
2. How did this exercise make you feel
3. What were your thoughts as you did this exercise
4. What have you learned from this experience
5. What can you do with this information in the future
Many staff members were candid, honest and vulnerable about how the privilege walk made them feel and various staff members shared about their experiences. In regards to the final question, of “what can you do with this information in the future?” many staff members talked about how they wish/would like to speak more regularly to other staff members. One of these people was librarian at my school.
After the SEL professional development, I asked her if she would be open to hosting a type of meet and greet with treats, inviting staff members to come to the library. The purpose would have the following goals:
- Offer the experience to staff members that the library is a:
- place to socialize and mingle
- place that offers reading for pleasure
- place that offers literature on professional development topics
- increase circulation of professional non-professional literature from staff
A few of the standards this event addressed were:
Before the event, Karen polled the staff with a google form asking:
- My favorite Middle School book or series was:
- My favorite book or series as an adult has been
- The most helpful book I have read and used during my educational career has been
From here, Karen made a display and eventually pulled books for our display to the staff.
The day before the event, we went to the store and purchased a box of pastries, marshmallows, and hot chocolate mix. I locked my keys in my car as well, which was a type of fun.
We did not have a very high expectation for turn out. It was the day before Winter Break and teachers were MAP testing, which means they needed to be in their rooms to get ready for students to arrive to test. In addition, in my own mind, with all sorts of treats in the lounge, I thought the teachers might be burned out on more treats.
What happened was magical. As soon as we opened our doors with our little spread, a little Christmas tree and Holiday music playing in the background the teachers started coming in. In total, almost 20 staff members showed up.
I had four conversations with staff members not only about their favorite books, but about their journey in their love of reading. Our librarian also had a few casual converstations about books with other staff members. At one point, in the first time I can even remember, a group of teachers sat themselves and chatted.
In total, only one YA Historical Fiction book was circulated, but with engagement, discussions about literature and creating relationships, it was a great start.
|Staff Members Attended||Number of Materials Circulated|
While there was only one book circulated during this event, I believe that the impact was incredibly positive and powerful. During the event, for the first time since the pandemic, I saw teachers mingling among the books, sharing their love of reading, and just chatting. Comments from emails included, “Thank you, it truly was a great way to start the day,” “Thank you for hosting,” and “Thank you for doing this” (J. Boutemy, S. Brozak & V. Franco, personal Communication, 12/16/2021).
Going forward, I plan to co-host and organize monthly staff events. The next one will hopefully be:
I look forward to not only promoting the services of the library, but changing the perception of some very important stakeholders, the staff.
American Association of School Librarians. (2018). AASL Standards Framework for Learners. In National School Library Standards. https://standards.aasl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/AASL-Standards-Framework-for-Learners-pamphlet.pdf
National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. http://www.npbea.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Professional-Standards-for-Educational-Leaders_2015.pdf