This summer I participated in the awesome ThingLink Teacher Challenge with Susan Oxnevad and what an enriching experience. Join the free ThingLink webinar either on either September 16th or September 18th and view some of the innovative projects.
It's that time of year where I am required by my district to set goals. So I look at last year's goals tweak some that I feel needs modifying, drop those that are not longer needed, and add new ones to challenge both me and the library program.
This year I was inspired by NancyJo Lambert's and Andy Plemmon's blog articles about setting goals. So I too set out to make some some simple goals for myself and will make them public in our library for all to see.
Provide formal training on the use of our digital eContent
Use the library website as a platform to host training and information of all content
Model the use of both regular books and our eContent
Use a variety of content who book talking
#3 Participate in Collaboration Beyond the Library Walls
Seek online opportunities to collaborate with others
Invite authors and/or guest speakers either through Skype or Google Hang Outs into our school
Join Goolge+ Communities that specializes in global collaboration
#4 Empower Our Student in the Learning Process
Provide opportunities of CHOICE for our students
Train students as "first responders" in technology issues
Facilitate a student drive Technology Club
Have you set your personal goals this year? Do make them visible to others and to remind yourself? As the year goes on I can sometimes put my personal goals on the "back burner" but not this year. With the help of Canva I'll post them in the library for everyone to see!
I am celebrating my 25th year as a school
librarian. Many have asked what are "my secrets" over the years in an ever changing profession. My #1 secret is that I enjoy my job and I am fortunate to work in a school that feels more like a family than a faculty. Here are my top 10 reflective
thoughts on my secrets to a successful library program.
passionate – Your passion as a librarian will be contagious so show it. You
have the ability to set the tone within your school so do it in a positive and
your own adventure – If and when something within your library program is
boring, change it up.You have the
unique power of choice so use it.Add
new tools or elements to lessons, make an activity interactive, join a Google
hang out, but just don’t continue with a monotonous presentation.
technology – Delve into the digital age and take the time to concentrate
and become an expert on a few new tools each grading period. Embed them into
your program and watch the excitement grown within your learning community.
a magical mystery tour – Entice your faculty and students with
surprises.Leave them at the edge of
their seats, yearning for more, and guessing what’s next with your library
programming. Everyone loves a good mystery.
personal learning network – Find others with the same ideologies and
collaborate.It’s a smaller world than
just a few years ago. We are all just a few clicks away from one another so seek
out others and share globally.
– It’s all about having fun.Greet
your patrons with a welcoming friendly smile.When you are having fun, the rest will follow.
facilitate – Release tasks to your students or others in your school that
you may have been tethered to in the past.Be a friendly facilitator rather than a distant dictator.
advocacy – Take every available opportunity to be an advocate of your
program.Be an inspirational leader in
your school and professional community – tell your story.Mentor those in need and model to the
charge of your own professional development – There are so many
opportunities available to each of us whether it’s face to face, in a Google
hangout, on a Skype call, or through a Twitter chat.You have the choice so find the best
prospects that will help you become a better librarian.
Welcome change – Change can be
difficult for many but confront it head-on and be the first in your school to
greet the inevitable transformations of a 21st Century educator.
Begin with adding a virtual presence in your library program.
I ask myself where has the time gone with 9 years as a classroom teacher and 25 years as a school librarian? There have been many celebrations over the years. My most grateful celebration is that I have been proactive in making the right choices as a school librarian!
I am a firm believer that YOU are in control of your own
professional development.Whether you
sign up for a meeting of interest, participate in a Twitter chat, attend an
EdCamp or convention of choice, or partake in an online opportunity it is YOU who should decide on your professional development needs.
When the ThingLink
Teacher Challenge came through my personal learning network (PLN) at the
beginning of the summer, I knew this was an awesome tool that needed further
investigation so I eagerly joined a global network of learners for 10 weeks of
collecting, curating, and sharing interactive images. The awesome Susan
Oxnevad, author of Cool Tools for 21st
Century Learners, managed the TLChallenge communicating through a blog, Twitter, email, and Google+. The challenge didn’t stop while I was
traveling because I picked up my iPad and continued on. I absolutely love the ease of this tool plus
the new video platform. It is rumored that there will be"many more education features and functionality improvements coming in the next months."
With this being my 25th anniversary as a school librarian, I have a few tips for all those refreshed and ready to start the year. In reflection these are tips that work for me. I have put this tips out in the past but have tweaked them as I see change.
Here are a few tips from a veteran librarian.
Start browsing through
your PLN, think about your blog, make modifications to your library website
(nobody likes those old reading lists), look into participating in some
Twitter chats (join #TXLchat on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 8:00p.m. CST), update your accounts and at least make sure you have the correct
logins. Look for new ideas and be ready to share your successes with your
PLN (Personal Learning Network).
Take charge of your own professional development.
Clean the house, cook
and freeze some meals (or stock up on Sam's or Costco meals), mow the yard and
work in the garden, and make sure the laundry basket is empty. This way when
you come home from school exhausted those first few days, you won’t be
concerned with domestic duties.
Have a ME day. Make an
appointment at the spa, get your nails done, play a round of golf or shop until
you drop. Just take some TLC time for yourself before the school year starts.
Eliminate last year’s
baggage. Last year is behind you so get over it and proceed on with the new
school year. If you have legitimate concerns, make an appointment with your
administrators and address it with solutions rather than complaints.
Return from your trips
at least 2-3 days before the school year starts. This will give you a few days
to relax and get ready for the adventures of a new year.
Pull out your positive
attitude and smile. If you have put the positive vibes and attitude away for
the summer get them out and practice smiling and enjoying life a few weeks
before school starts.
Start an exercise
program. Take a walk, ride a bike, jog, join a water aerobics class or get
involved with an activity that gets your heart rate up. Begin with a simple
plan and incorporate it into your daily schedule. If nothing else it will make
your feel better, give you more energy, and encourage you with a sense of
Start getting up at your
regular work time at least a week before school starts. This way getting back
into your routine won’t be such a shock to your body.
Start something new.
Look into starting a new home project such as a home recycling program, a
family blog, plant an herbal garden or any other innovative venture. This might
inspire you to begin new and exciting undertakings at school in the coming
Evaluate last year's
programming. Make changes where necessary; eliminate things that didn't
work and enhance something to make it awesome.
Make plans to start a
Library Advisory Committee this year. Rely on them for advice and
or suggestions. Include all subject areas, students, administrators, and
parents if possible. This will empower the programming to others outside the
library walls allowing you to be a true facilitator.
Start planning for
conferences and make reservations now. They can always be canceled.
If time or cost is an issue then look for some virtual PD
Step back and evaluate
the atmosphere of your library. Come up with a plan to jazz up an area,
declutter your office, change out displays or posters that are faded, or
rearrange the furniture. Sometimes freshness in the environment may
create freshness in ideas.
Step back and read your
signage.Do they have positive
Evaluate your policies and procedures and ask yourself, "Are they user-friendly for my faculty and students?" If they are not, change them!
Think proactive rather
Make plans to take your
library program beyond your walls and out into the world.Look into opportunities to collaborate such as
Dot Day,Teen Read Week, National Poetry Month, and more.Use Skype or Google Hang Outs to venture out
into the world.
Stock up on some healthy
snacks. You may not have a relaxing lunch period for some days to come.
By all means avoid the candy and soda machine in the teacher's lounge.
Include library advocacy in your thoughts and actions this year. We are all in this together so let's do it together.
Remember a happy healthy librarian is essential for a positive productive school library program.
With my summer vacation quickly coming to an end, I am so excited to start back to school with projects that I designed in the ThingLink Challenge this summer. With Susan Oxnevad at the helm, I worked my way through many weeks of projects that will bring meaning to our library program. I must admit I am missing one assignment that I plan on completing very soon.
Each week the participants were challenged in designing and using the tools offered by ThingLink. Although I was already a user of the software I wanted to explore, collaborate, and learn more about this awesome website and I was not disappointed. I learned how to add ThingLinks to videos and used new software to add audio. I have already used some of my ThingLinks to help our summer reading promotion and during our district summer TechnoPalooza. I was really excited about learning how to use the ThingLink app and I can't wait to share this with my classroom teachers.
I am so glad that I stopped and took a second look at a tweet that came through my Personal Learning Network in early June. I know that I am in control of my professional development and this was a challenge worth taking.