As you prepare to begin a new school year, consider starting an “Advocacy” file on your computer. Include links to resources (see the Advocacy page of this blog) that can assist you as you plan your advocacy strategy for the year.
We often refer to studies conducted by Lance, Todd, Baumbach or others as we explain the need for school library programs. But in bleak economic times, statistics from a study conducted years ago in another area (studies have been conducted in Ontario, Canada, and 18 states) aren’t going to provide the support you need to prove YOUR program is making a difference.
How do you assess student learning in your media center? If you have only used observation in the past, plan to gather concrete evidence this year. Add this evidence to your Advocacy file and include information from it in each and every meeting you have with your principal. Plan on sharing your monthly reports with your superintendent and your school board.
There’s Strength in Numbers
In a March post, I shared the above presentation created in Google Docs and asked readers how they assessed student learning in their media centers. Two school librarians responded, but only Joquetta Johnson of Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore, Maryland added information to the presentation.
I have met many awesome school librarians at conferences and online and know they use a variety of methods to assess learning. I hope that some of them are reading this and will add to the presentation, allowing us all to benefit as we face one of the toughest years yet in education.