Read how Tawa Intermediate School's librarian has gained confidence and helped improve the school library services after completing our online professional development course 'Developing your school library services'.
Réka Lendvay is the librarian at Tawa Intermediate School, situated north of Wellington.
From Hungary, Réka obtained a teaching certificate in history, citizenship and ethics, worked in a university library while she studied, and was a part-time elementary school librarian.
Réka came to New Zealand with her husband and 2 young daughters, first to Rotorua and then to Wellington. She started doing volunteer work in the library at Tawa Intermediate before being offered the role of librarian.
Online learning with English as a second language
As a new school librarian in New Zealand, Réka wanted to upskill her professional knowledge with the support of National Library.
It was Réka's very first experience with online learning and she had the added challenge of English being her second language. She soon discovered that online learning worked well due to the clear course structure and content. She also found the course glossary useful for specific terms that were new to her.
We asked Réka to describe her experience of being an online course participant. Here's what she had to say...
Support from course facilitators
The course facilitators were great and made me more confident. I could always ask and you replied very quickly and very professionally.
After week 2, I was finding things very challenging and I was in trouble with my time management juggling different roles, being a mum, working, and with English as my second language I would be so tired at the end of the day and then to start studying, it was challenging, but due to facilitators being lovely persons, I didn’t quit and I’m very thankful for that.
You trusted me and encouraged me to continue. Your positive feedback gave me so much energy, it was enough of a gentle push over the hurdle, so that was really nice and it gave me the motivation.
I felt so much more powerful so I thought okay I can do it! I changed my attitude and tried and I was really happy after I finished the course.
It was very useful for me. I was one of the participants who had a lot of profit from the course.
Sharing ideas and building enthusiasm
It was very good to read other people’s opinions because sometimes we had matching difficulties and sometimes my thoughts were completely different to their comments. It was thought-provoking and I could grab some great ideas from them.
I really loved the links to different types of surveys. The online surveys are great and I was so excited to make my own one for student librarians. I asked them:
- 'How do they feel about the library — confident or challenging?
- What have you learnt?
- Why was it good or not being a student librarian?'
It was good to be able to find the survey templates, just a single click on the template — very useful and fast, saved me a lot of time.
Evidence of success
We asked teachers what kind of books they prefer reading so we could match books with them, mostly books on kindness because it was this year’s topic.
Photos of the teachers reading the books during the holidays were displayed in the library, along with the books they had read. This inspired the students. They look at the photos always and in 3 to 4 days, all the kindness books were issued.
We promoted the Hell's pizza reading challenge to every single class.
About the HELL Reading Challenge
In one class, all but one student put up their hands to take part in the challenge. This one student said reading was boring, but he was the first to complete his pizza wheel starting with a picture book and then choosing books with more text after that. He was a very good speaker and could talk about the books very easily. He issued more books after that.
Two thumbs up from Réka!
I am happy to recommend to anybody to do these courses. They are very useful and I am really satisfied because they helped me a lot.
Professional learning and support