Books Alone Are Not Enough!

There is a saying “if written directions alone would suffice, the library wouldn’t need to have the rest of the school attached”. This should serve as a clear reminder to all in management who are guilty of directing novice staff members with comments such as “it’s in your manual” or “the information is online”. While this may be true, I believe it also to be ineffectual.

The only way that most of us fully understand is when we are shown the process. We need to not only be taught how things work, but more importantly what the potential consequences are. Take the time to bring information that you have gained to a level that a novice will not only understand, but hopefully will become excited about and engaged in.

While many books that I have read have had an impact on my behavior and thinking, they are not what formed me. That task was accomplished by teachers, coaches, mentors and most of all great parents. Imagine how differently our lives might have been if instead of our mothers reading us a story, they’d have just shown us where the books were kept and told us to figure it out for ourselves.

Isn’t that what too many of us are doing to our novice staff members? Take the time to be a mentor. All involved will be glad that you did.

Tom Jennings

Sunday, October 16, 2011