True to my expectations, I’ve been absent from my blog, and I miss it dearly. The new school year has been very busy. Our library circulation statistics for the first two weeks of school was double what we had last year, we’ve had an increased number of teachers wanting to use the library, which has been overwhelming but so very awesome. Even my student aides are great!
A lot of people have been on edge this year, though. We have a new principal, new assistant principal, a new performance review process, budget cuts, lower than predicted enrollment, and we didn’t make AYP last year. The new principal has been one of our assistant principals for a few years, so he’s not new to the school, but his philosophies are different enough from our former (and much-loved) principal that many people are anxious. Some people have already judged the new AP in a poor manner. People are anxious about their jobs and the money available to assist them in doing their jobs due to the budget cuts and potential for more cuts due to low enrollment.
The new review process is centered around data and evidence. I’m excited about the potential I see in it since my biggest frustration with education continues to be ineffective/lazy/burned out teachers. But I already see/hear people trying to BS their way through it. “Just tell me what to put down that will make them leave me alone,” said one poisonous teacher. Another said at a meeting concerning the new process to focus on your best lessons and just don’t include other stuff. This really irritated me because I think reflection is a big step missing in the process some teachers go through year after year. I think the new review system is an excellent way to demonstrate reflection and adjustment based on student achievement, but many just seem to want to know what new song and dance routine to throw at the administration so they can keep doing the same old thing.
So, needless to say, it seems like, after the third week of school, many people are already tired, frustrated, and plumb wore out. Whining seems to be constant; people are snappish and quick to take offense.
We are short one staff member in the library due to a family emergency, so the extra traffic has been juggled between just two of us. I’ve come down with a cold this weekend and would love to take another day to rest up (I spent more of today asleep already) but I just don’t feel like now is a good time to be out.
Besides being sick and dealing with the work stress, things have been good. I turned 35, we’re celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary, and fall is coming. I do miss my personal time. I haven’t read a book since school started, even my magazine and internet reading has fallen terribly behind. My DVR is filling up and I haven’t had time to catch up with many family and friends. I feel very out of touch with the bigger world of libraries and YA lit and am really looking forward to the YALSA YA Literature Symposium for the chance to just immerse myself in it all.
I promise my blog is not dead, just quiet. I can’t wait to come back and share all the thoughts that keep tumbling through my head, needing an outlet.
P.S. Will I see any of you at the Symposium?