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?
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.
But I get concerned when I hear that someone wants to be a librarian because they are tired of teaching, because they want a desk job, because it's less work. Because, well, it isn't. Every level is different -- I speak with the voice of a middle school librarian. And I really want you to join this magical field, but I want you to do it for the right reasons.
There are so many ways to connect with professional colleagues, but here are 5 places to start. And if all of these are new to you, choose one and test the waters.
I didn't jump into Twitter completely, instead I dipped my toe in....very slowly. But baby step by baby step, I found myself immersed and it has changed by teaching practice by tuning me on to a world of innovation and creativity that was happening in the Twitter-sphere. If you are the me of the past, wondering how the heck Twitter can help you teach, read on...
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