Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Untangling All Those Cords

Image retrieved from ehow.com
If you peek into my office when I am actually sitting at my desk, you will usually see me trying to untangle my computer cords unsuccessfully at least once a day.  My desk may be a wreck and my cords a mess, but my technology gadgets are all in order.  This is mainly because of some invaluable tools that my husband has shared with me during from his Technology Bootcamp and Twitter chats.  First, after lugging my laptop home after a long day, I realized I couldn't access my files because.....I wasn't on the school NETWORK!  Nice...the laptop never made it out of the car.  Enter, Google Docs.  I uploaded all my current unit lesson plans to Google Docs and plan to create a folder for my elementary library lesson plans, as well.  I also downloaded Evernote to my iphone and each laptop.  I have been dumping lesson ideas, staff technology notes, and books I find and need to review for our library.

The constant tangle seems representative of my journey as a new librarian.  Each cord has an important function and it's up to me to keep them untangled and working properly.  Sometimes the tangle gets pretty nasty and sometimes it just takes some time to sit down and straighten it all out.  And it is necessary to take that time -  to clean your desk, office, shelf, whatever.  Part of untangling is also unplugging... and I am becoming a huge advocate of the unplugged moments in life.  As the stack of unread books, magazines, and professional articles piles up, it's ok to go "old school" and curl up with some actual paper reading material.

Finally, a HUGE shout out to Kristin Fontichiaro and Buffy Hamilton for their new publication School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's To Come. Published electronically, downloadable, and awesome!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You Will Want to Quit - But Don't.

This day will come.  You will look around your library and realize you may have made a huge mistake.  Don't turn in your keys. One of the things I did not realize about the first year as a new librarian is that you are also a  new teacher.  If you have your head in your hands, everything on your desk is swimming, and you are having trouble breathing - you are having a first year teacher moment.  That day has come and gone for me - in fact I have had a couple of those days and fully expect a few more.  The experiences that saved me will find you, as well.  First, my students - thank the good Lord for them.  I have a handful of senior boys who make me laugh and with out knowing it, seem to find me whenever I am having a weak moment.  Second, I met with another librarian for my graduate class.  We found a common connection in some of the experiences we had faced.  I can't express in words my gratitude for the time she spent with me on my assignment, but more important, the experiences she shared about her first year.  I didn't feel so isolated and I realized that this time will pass and I will be a better librarian.  There is someone out there who will know your pain, frustration, and fear.  If they aren't in your building or in your district - they are there and you will find them. Finally, I am so very thankful for my family - most of all my husband.  As a principal, he herds his own flock of new teachers in another district but has time to listen and guide me through my first year.

Find the blessings in even the smallest triumphs, stay focused on the kiddos, and stay strong.  Been there - still there - but not giving up.