Your principal and other administrators (including curriculum directors, technology administrators, and district-level leaders) are essential partners in building an effective and responsive school library program. Depending on their educational preparation and experience with school librarians, they may or may not have a clear understanding of the role of the school library program in today's teaching and learning environments. In order to shape, explain, and attain your mission for the school library, you will probably need to engage in some form of instruction and information sharing, particularly when it comes to your professional evaluation.
Following the suggestions in the resource, "Steps for Preparing for (and Reflecting Upon) Your Professional Evaluation" (see Learning Support in the workshop), review your state or district's evaluation instrument. Here are some possible tasks:
- Identify questions or concerns with the document. For instance, are there areas that may be difficult to quantify or document at this time?
- Request a meeting with your school principal and/or curriculum chair to discuss the instrument. Ask for their questions and concerns, and respond, or make a plan to find out information and respond at a later time.
- Develop a plan for collecting evidence. Establish a schedule for checking in on your progress. Make it a simple and memorable system for tracking, perhaps monthly, when report cards go out, or bi-monthly.
- If your school doesn't have an evaluation instrument specific to the librarian's role, consider with your school leaders and library colleagues a plan to supplement the teacher instrument to document the additional roles of the school librarian. Use other systems' or states' instruments as a starting point. Be mindful of contractual requirements for professional evaluation in your school system.
Professional evaluation instrument for your school or district