Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

#CrazyThankful

So I bought this great bag at Hobby Lobby before the holidays. I LOVE bags, purses, totes..... This one was meant to be mine because it was half price making the cost below the "think twice before I buy it" threshold. Currently, it's hanging on the bedroom doorknob & I've looked at it like a gazillion times since it came home with me.  And I keep thinking, I'm always working on gratitude but am I really grateful? Do I just say it but never consider the feeling?  Like seriously grateful? Like crazy grateful?

Guilty……And like Alice, I give great advice, but seldom heed my own.  And that, my friends, will cost you in the end.

Reflecting on the past school year, I did a lot of blah blahing about some really awesome things with regard to professional learning, staying inspired, and dynamic learning.  Didn't do one.

Now, as I start unpacking my junk from the great bag I thought would inspire me to be grateful, I realize the first thing on my list-o-reflection is to consider #crazythankful  and mean it.  As frustrated as I am with things around me, I LOVE being a librarian with ALL that encompasses (tech fixer, research instructor, ethical use meanie, book lady, digital citizenship investigator……..).  I had great opportunities to teach, share, and represent with my tribe.  I created a 100% student safe library, according to my peep survey at FMS. I'm darn good at what I do.

Somewhere along the way this year, I lost sight of all of that.  Glad I found it in the bag.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Care and Feeding of your P2LN - Connected Educator Study (2)

The second key connector in our book study discusses personal learning: the how, where, and when.  I have loved reading this book as a veteran of Twitter as it reminds me of all the great reasons I love Twitter as a professional resource. Thank you, guys!


As a co-founder of two twitter chats, I can say with absolute assurance that connected educators are ready to learn anytime, anywhere.  I've moderated and greeted chats from volleyball games, passenger seat of the car, and once during freshman orientation (which I did with the utmost respect and discretion). I believe in the power of connecting and sharing that much.....  There is a valuable nugget of information for everyone who jumps into a Twitter chat.



Connected educators are also willing to learn on Saturdays and at 3 am because we LOVE learning and growing.  As the authors share, professional learning which takes place outside the traditional day, is the most powerful.  When we are able to be in the mindset to receive great information, it sticks with us and has a lasting effect. That makes finding some time for reading, reflecting, and sharing to take place so critical. It's the process of refilling the well and finding some humor in what we do. Here are a few educators I turn to for inspiration and great ideas.

Love The Daring Librarian, I hope to be as whackadoodle as she is when I Grow Up. And she's a middle school librarian.


Buffy Hamilton - the first librarian I followed on Twitter and love keeping up w/ her libraries, students, puppies, and best practices.



My partner in crime, Lynn Kleinmeyer, keeps me on my toes, pushes me to be better and want more for my students, and can kind of read my mind.



The FMS Library Instagram account - celebrating our students who inspire me everyday.




As a librarian in two buildings, I am my own department, and it is very easy to isolate myself within my own little world.  Having a connected network helps me to stay inspired and knowledgeable about issues, trends, new books, and great activities for me to share with my students. "So stealing that idea" is one of my mottos.  And please steal from me when I share things, as well.



Monday, November 9, 2015

Care and Feeding of Your P2LN - Connected Educator Series Book Study

Image result for what connected educators do differentlyThe invitation from Ann Feldmann to join this book study came at just the right time.  Here are some numbers for you.  I am surrounded by 1300 students in 2 buildings each day. This is my 5th year as a school librarian, my 4th year as a #nebedchat co-founder, and 1st year as a #mwlibchat (Midwest Librarian Chat) co-founder, and 1st year as a UNO adjunct instructor. I read 100 books each year as part of the @goodreads challenge.  And....I am the 1st to talk about being connected and inspired, but I am the LAST person to follow my own advice.  The result is the feeling of educator isolation shared in "What Connected Educators Do Differently."  


I think I fall into the "connected" category, but my take on Chapter 1 is perhaps more about the maintenance of your P2LN. The feeling we've all experienced after a great conference, workshop or keynote extends to the excitement after a whirlwind chat with educators and librarians.  The key is feeding and caring for that excitement and channeling it into what we do everyday so it can grow, connect, and inspire others.


We face some ginormous challenges in education.  Some of our kids have whole lives outside of our buildings, and what goes on in those buildings, for those students, is low on the list.  Combine that with budgets, resources, statistics and there are some pretty big obstacles to add to the process of teaching and learning. With so many big things, where do we even start?

After five years as a school librarian, one thing hasn't changed.  It's all about the kids, and it's all about connections. So although my issues have changed, grown, shrunk, and evolved, the need to stay focused on connections with my students and my personal and professional network has not.  So my blogging focus during the book study will be to record the care and feeding of my P2LN, and hopefully, inspire anyone else out there.