Monday, August 20, 2012

New Beginnings

After almost 19 years of Ghana, 5 years of them as Primary School Librarian at Lincoln Community School, I moved to Hong Kong to take on the same role at Hong Kong Academy. It's been almost three weeks - an amazing three weeks - since we arrived in Hong Kong but today was my first actual day with students. I didn't get much sleep last night, wondering (and worrying) how my first classes would be. Would the students like me? Would they participate voluntarily? Would classroom management be an issue? I couldn't believe how nervous I was. And yet, everything went well. The children were just wonderful, curious to get to know me and excited about being in the library. I wish I could have spend more time with them.

New beginnings are truly exciting and there is so much to be excited about, for example:
- getting to know and working with new students and fellow educators
- sharing with new colleagues ideas and suggestions for learning engagements that have worked well in the past
- seeing and working with a different Programme of Inquiry (POI)
- exploring a new library collection
- being involved in the design of a brand-new library as the school is currently building a new campus
- sharing the library with an experienced, knowledgeable and passionate fellow librarian
- and, of course, living in Hong Kong aka Library Wonderland!

But of course, new beginnings can also be overwhelming and worrying. My major concerns are related to the introduction of a partly flexible schedule (we will maintain a 30min fixed library time with a focus on literature appreciation; information literacy skills will be integrated into the UOIs and scheduled on a flexible basis) even though I am totally convinced that this is the right approach:
- will classroom teachers be supportive of the new model?
- will we be able to cover all relevant skills within the school year?
- will the 30min weekly fixed time be sufficient to introduce students to a wide variety of literature while giving them enough time to chose their own books?

The first couple of days, and in particular the fact that one grade-level has already scheduled additional time in the library, have made me very hopeful. Exciting times, new beginnings, new adventures - and lots of new sharing and learning to look forward to!

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