I've been having a lot of internal conversations over the last week as I've been struggling with a lot of work related decisions. It's times like these that I really wish I had another teacher librarian in the building. I'm always going through the day to day librarian activities and making decisions and for the most part, I can handle it. Every so often though, I start second guessing myself. I think it's one of the problems of being the only (or as one of my students told me, the lonely).
Today I had a scheduled meeting with my principal. It was announced that he is being moved at the end of the month and I wanted to chat with him before he left. After four years of working together, we've finally come to understand each other - and it's been a long and difficult road. Our chat today was very frank and I walked away feeling that I had done my job; my principal knows how important the teacher librarian and the library program is to a school. We spoke about how a teacher librarian is really an instructional leader and how that is only really possible if the TL is full time. We also spoke about moving into administration which is something I have entertained since I entered the teaching profession. I have come to realize that leadership doesn't have to mean administration.
We also spoke about professional growth as my principal is a huge proponent of constantly exploring new educational theories to find something that works to propel an individual forward. He did mention that he thought that he hadn't pushed me enough. It's an interesting thought, but I don't think I'm one that needs pushing. I have always loved learning and am constantly reading and looking for new ideas that I can use in the library and the classroom. Over the past 18 months I have really focused on developing my leadership outside of the school by presenting at conferences and taking a more active role in LSAs (local specialist organizations). I still have a long way to go, but for this introvert, what I've accomplished in the last year and half often catches me off guard.
I left the principal's office feeling positive. Positive because I knew I had made my principal a believer and strong advocate of library programs and teacher librarians. And I'm ready to work with my new principal and show him how the library is the absolute heart of the building.