“Ok...Here we go. Focus. Speed.”
Lightning McQueen says at the start of the movie Cars this famous line. He learns a few lessons along the way, but it still comes back to his finish and how managed to accomplish this task.
I’d like to add to his two words—attitude and discipline. We need to have all these things at the end of the year. We ask our students to take state tests; we ask our students to wrap up their end-of-the-year projects; we ask her students to show up and continue learning even though the days are really nice outside and they’d rather be somewhere else.
How about school library? Are we ready to finish strong? What is our focus at the end of the year? I know many times we are “busy” and caught up with other things. You may have requisitions on your plate; you may have weeding; you may have inventory; you may have teachers who want to try something new. We are librarians. We persevere. We still need to continue and finish strong. Whether it’s students, teachers, your entire school family, I remind you, remember your focus.
Speed...when we’re looking at the rate of things that need to be done between now and the end of the year (and then you throw in having no school), what’s the speed in which we need to accomplish certain tasks? Although sleep is sometimes an afterthought, take care of yourself too. You can’t be up to speed if you’re not up to yourself. How can we have school librarians support our teachers in finishing the end of the year and finishing strong?
We hear attitude is everything. We teach that attitude is everything. I remind you that you wake up each day and you decide who you’re going to be, you wake up each day and decide how the day is going to go. We are in charge of our lives; we’re in charge of our school library lives. Our attitude determines a lot. The attitude that we as school librarians have is one of the biggest influences in our school. Time to help you with making a connection to project even though we are swamped with things going...we sure do have the time! We always have the attitude that we still need to be there for our students. For some, the book that is checked out from us is the only book they have at home. For some, the conversation they have with us about a book is one positive adult relationship that they have in their life. For some, the library is a place for them to make and create. How can our attitude better support students in their ongoing quest for knowledge?
Finally, what discipline do we have? This is the 4th quarter—it’s time to dig deep. I myself need to rise to the occasion so I can be a stronger person. What can I learn? What new skills can I gain because then I can export those onto my students? Or better yet, what new books can I read that I can then share with a student? I know on days off from school there are so many other things pulling at me...potentially new books that I want to read, always my housework, the nice days that make me want to be outside, there’s probably something that needs to be organized in my life...but I need to have that discipline to finish what I’m doing.
I challenge you school librarians to have your focus, your speed, your attitude, and your discipline in check and finish strong.
So as we wrap up the final quarter or term of the school year, let’s all finish strong.
by Crys Bauermeister
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This blog is a joint effort by members of the NSLA Executive Board. We hope to provide relevant information, tips and tools to help you in your journey.