My Top Tips for Conference Engagement
Last week I attended the Virginia Association for School Librarians (VAASL) Annual Conference. It's always hard to get away from school for a few days, but I think it's worth it if I am able to collect take-aways that really upgrade the work I do every day in my library program and my learning as a professional. And, as I am heading out this week to attend our big national conference, the American Association of School Librarians, I thought I'd pull together some of my tips for turning a good conference experience into a great one.
Can you believe summer break is almost over? I know for many of our readers, school has already begun, but here in Northern Virginia, our students don't come back for a few more weeks. I, on the other hand, head back to work next week. And, even though summer ends every year, I'm feeling a bit stunned that it happened so fast this time around. It's hard for me to go from 0 to 60 on day one, so I'm focused this week on getting my school year mojo back. Here are some things on my to do list for the week as I prep to go back to the library.
Aloha! If you are a regular reader of our blog, you've heard us reference our school's Literacy Committee. This committee consists of teachers from various content areas who work together to help embed literacy (reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking) in all of our school's classrooms. We are in charge of a lot of professional development and it can be a real challenge to keep things new and engaging. We recently developed a fun, meaningful PD session that could easily be replicated in any building for any professional development content. It's the complete antithesis of sit and get professional development, blending the sharing of strategies (by the experts: educators) and a little whimsy. People walked away with new ideas and new energy, so all and all - a success! If you have a PD session to plan in your future, check out our Literacy Luau. We'll walk you step by step through what you need to do to make this a fantastic PD event for you and your colleagues.
We value choice so much as it relates to our students and our instructional practices. We create learning menus, we offer options when it comes to task, choices in end product and more. So why not honor that same choice when it comes to adult learners and professional development as teachers? Inspired by a recent post on Twitter and our own love for creating fun BINGO boards, we developed PD BINGO targeted specifically to learning opportunities within our school district (as well as some beyond). Take a look and LEARN with us!
I recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) annual conference in Williamsburg, VA. I love attending professional conferences and VAASL is one of my favorites. I like to connect with other school librarians from around the state to talk and learn and share ideas. The biggest theme running through the conference was that truly, and perhaps more than ever, school libraries are important and valuable. They matter. What else matters in relation to libraries? That's where my five take-aways from the conference come into play.
Definition of a #teacherfangirl: when Teacher A thinks Teacher B is so amazing that they spend time trying to teach more like Teacher A. In this situation, Cris Tovani, a talented, thoughtful English teacher (and book writer) with decades of teaching experience is teacher A and I am teacher B (but you probably figured that out by now).
Cris has been working with my school district over the past two years to improve our literacy programming. Consequently, Gretchen and I have had the chance to delve into her work and to hear her speak on multiple occasions. She's fantastic and has altered my teaching practice in so many positive ways. So for our 100th blog post (yes -- you heard me right -- one hundred!), Gretchen and I thought we would share the love by sharing with our readers some of the truths we've learned from Cris (yes, I can call her Cris because I am her #fangirl). Because as you know, when teachers share great ideas Bubbleup.
Summer's here...or almost here for most of us! That's right, in Northern Virginia school is STILL in session! Just three more days! We've got sunshine, flip-flops, beach books, and of course, professional development on our minds. It's important to take time in the summer to focus on our professional practice so that we can come back to school in August, prepped and ready to engage with our new students.
This week we are thrilled to have our pointers for finding ways to reflect, reach out and re-imagine featured on the ASCD Inservice blog. How will you recharge this summer?
Librarians: Build Your Brand.
Branding has come up recently in education, largely due to the April publication of a book written by Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin called BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. I have long been fascinated by brands and branding, perhaps driven by the time I spent working as a librarian at an advertising agency and later at a big pharmaceutical and consumer goods company. I love the idea of bringing branding into schools and building a professional brand. And, I find it makes such logical sense as the director of a library program because our goals so closely align with the purpose of branding: We need to share our library story, communicate our messaging, and build relationships.
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