A New Year, A New Start

It’s that time of year again. School officially starts in my district one week from today. Most of the teachers are actually going back on Monday. There are a number of distinct factors that make this new year different than the last few school years for me. Usually, I feel very nervous about making a good first impression and setting the tone for the rest of the school year. The first day and first week are so important to the climate of the classroom. I don’t have that at all this year, which is a little odd for me. Part of the reason is that I will not actually have any students next week. I’m going to be a librarian this year, so no classes will be coming in the first few days. I’ll still do what I can to make students feel welcome and comfortable, but it is definitely a different atmosphere than I’m used to.

Another factor is that we’re opening a brand new school that cost tens of millions of dollars to build. I’m excited about that and it has little to do with the supplies. We have great resources, but attitude and perception are even more important. The teachers are really starting come together and bond; they are linked by a common goal. The students and teachers both have a fresh start. Regardless of problems of the past, we can all start over with a blank slate and do the best that we can.

My goal this year is a little more abstract than in previous years. In the past, I was responsible for about 100 students. They were my charge: I knew them by name and knew (most of the time) how to help them. As the librarian, I am responsible for everyone and no one. No students are directly under my charge, except for possibly some student aides (guidance has not made a decision on that yet); however, through teaching, collaborating with teachers, and helping students both individually and in groups, I have the charge of enriching the learning environment of the entire school for every student. I take this charge very seriously and look forward to working with each student that will come into the school next week. If you are starting school again soon, as either a teacher or student, please let me know what you expect and what would make the experience better for you.