Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spreading the word

     I am still working my way through Library Girl's 11 questions.  I have discovered that the questions where I had immediate answers also showed the areas where I am very comfortable.  Then I realized there were a few questions which were just second nature to me and that I do without conscious effort.  So here are a few more answers, some with more complex answers than others.
      #6 How will you share this data with your administrators and community? My technology facilitator just wrote the local newspapers about our 8th grade students creating ebooks as their alternative energy research projects.  The truth - I thought it was a waste of time.  But since two papers ran stories on the projects and the NCLE picked up what was happening we have received more feedback from our county administrators than ever.  (Click here to read article) We even had email from South Dakota this week.  Not bad for our simple project in North Carolina.  While I loathe begging for attention, I am going to have to solicit the media.  Having other teacher librarian's know my thoughts won't keep our jobs.  The public and the lawmakers knowing will help me stay employed and keep me doing what is best for our kids.  So 2014 may be the year of the press release.
     #3  How will you use student data to make instructional and programmatic decisions?  I have always informally gathered data from my students - asking their opinions on lessons, having a book request box, allowing them to recommend books to each other, etc.  I have listened to my teachers saying our low readers cannot access the literature their peers can and found hi-lo readers, exciting reads, audio books, and the like to add to the collection.  Now I have to make the jump to looking at testing data and looking for correlations between those who check out books or participate in library activities and test scores.  (How I loathe testing and what it has done to teaching, but I digress)  Time to prove my worth to help silence those who look for reasons to lose TLs.  Oops that accidentally answered #5 How will you connect the dots between your work and student learning?.  Hooray!
     # 7 How will you ensure your diverse population sees themselves in your space (as well as in your collection)?  I have to admit I talked to a friend about this one and she laughed at me when I didn't know what else to do.  Apparently I was overthinking this one.  My displays reflect our different cultures throughout the year.  Cultures helps encompass race, nationality, hobbies, and interests.  The collection does the same. This is one of those I do it without thinking about it too much. 
    I must be off.  My little man is wanting to check all the flashlights in the house just in case we ever get snow this winter.  Til next time...


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Breaking stereotypes

     When last we left out hero she was working on Library Girl's questions.  So maybe hero is too strong a term but I have always wanted to use that phrase.  So I am working on my online presence and growing my virtual PLN.  So far so good.  The encouragement from library girl did help.
       Jennifer's question 8 is How will you dispel negative/outdated library stereotypes?  Number one, I don't run a quiet library except when necessary.  We talk about books sometimes quietly, sometimes with great gestures across the library.  My media center has music playing.  I leave the library.  I help find resources.  Not just books - resources.  Ebooks through NCWiseowl, websites, primary source documents, audio clips, etc.  Now I need to plan to collaborate regularly rather than letting it happen organically or by chance.  Now I need to reach back out to the teachers who haven't let me help before at least one more time.  I won't just create and deliver instruction, I will help assess.  On a much lighter note, I will buy at least one pair of shoes that are not sensible since I simply must have my glasses and the occasional cardigan.