Four of our nine English/Language Arts (ELA) teachers are leaving our school at the end of this year. This mass exodus may make you wonder what is wrong with our school. Actually they are leaving for different reasons, but it just seemed to happen at once. One is taking a position in children's ministry, one has accepted an assistant principal position and two are going to the new high school in our district. What does this have to do with me? Tons! I've spent a great portion of this year building and nurturing relationships with our staff. Even though I have been at our school for six years this was my first as a librarian, requiring me to work more closely with everyone. I work with all of our subjects, but ELA the most. These changes will require a shift for me as well. Three of the new ELA teachers are first year teachers and one is a social studies teacher making a switch. I want to be as supportive of them as possible. I must admit I am excited about the change even though I will miss the teachers that are leaving. I am hoping for enthusiasm, energy and a willingness to collaborate with me.
As soon as the hiring process was over I contacted the teachers and invited them into the library for a tour and to talk about collaboration and preparation for next year. I invited their input and ideas for our summer reading program. I tried to think of something that would bring the staff together over the summer and help them get ready for the year. I decided on a summer reading assignment. I had recently finished the book Readicide by Kelly Gallagher and thought it would be perfect. The Michigan Reading Association used this book for a virtual book club if you want read about it here. After getting the principal's approval I created a group on Edmodo so that we could discuss the book over the summer and purchased the Kindle version of the book for our school Kindles. The teachers will take the Kindles home over the summer and we will talk about the book on Edmodo. I found a few quotes and videos to support the book's suggestions that I will post online for their responses. If this goes well maybe I will choose books for other subject areas next year.
Anyone else using summer reading groups?