Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Back to Basics

I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions.  Really for me (and probably for most teacher librarians) September is the beginning of the year.  Over the Christmas break, I decided I needed to make some changes to the library program and I really couldn't wait until September to start.  I needed to get back to the basics.  With the amount of administrative work I am tied up doing, the 'basics' - the stuff I love - gets pushed to the side.  The three basics I've decided to focus on are:

1) Books
2) Teaching
3) Resources

Well, I can't really get much more basic than that!

1) Books

I want to read more books (what TL doesn't?). More importantly, I want to get the right book into the right hands.  This past Monday, I did something I really have never done as a middle school teacher librarian; I ran a book talk.  Truth be told, I ran 4 book talks and I really enjoyed it.  I've organized speed dating with books and I've had many informal conversations with students about books to read but I've never tried a book talk.  The entire idea of a book talk seemed very elementary to me.  But after the first block, I was hooked.  I presented the class with 10 very different books and all 10 were signed out.  Students were excited about the books and disappointed if they didn't get one of the 10.  And they were grade 8s.  Clearly I need to do this more often.

2) Teaching

I am a teacher librarian but I will always consider myself a teacher first.  I do a lot of co-teaching with my colleagues when they bring their classes in to the library but I miss the classroom.  Actually, I really miss the classroom.  Next week I am heading back into the Social Studies 9 classroom and teaching a lesson on Napoleon and I'm looking forward to it.  No co-teaching, no multiple interruptions, and no time limits.  This classroom teaching is something I need to do more often. 

3) Resources

Part of my job as a teacher librarian is dealing with resources.  I am pretty good about buying paper resources and making sure the right teachers see the right resources.  What I am not good about doing is getting the right web resources to the right teachers.  This week I am starting my Thursday Tech Tip which I will email out to all teachers and hopefully the tech tip will find the right teacher. 

Here's hoping I stick to my new plan.

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