It's that time of year when I reflect on the last 12 months and recognize what I have accomplished and where I need to grow. I've had an awesome year and am very proud of the library program we are running at CNB. The five things I'm most proud of are:
1. Advocacy. This September I found myself with yet another new principal. I sighed as I knew that I had a long road ahead of me explaining to my prinicpal what it is that I do. I was especially concerned as his previous school didn't have a teacher librarian. My last principal told me to continue having monthly meetings with my new administrator to go over my monthly reports as it is a great opportunity to showcase my work. I have been doing that and I had felt like my principal was starting to understand my role in the building but this was confirmed when I asked him to write a letter of support for a grant application I was putting together. When I read the draft, I was blown away and when I handed it to him, my feedback was, "This letter is awesome. You do understand what I am doing!". Advocacy is very hard but I feel like I am finally getting the hang of it.
2. Embedding skills. I have also made the commitment to really embed skills within each project that comes through the library. I was apprehensive about my aggressive approach with teachers as I know that teachers are already feeling the pressure of time. The grade 7 Humanities teachers and I decided to take a day and teach the structure of PBL and it was extremely successful. We created a PBL road map to show students the structure and then used that road map in our first Social Studies PBL project and I felt it went much smoother. I then talked to the Math/Science 7 teachers and took two of their classes to teach the grade 7s note taking and then non-fiction text features. Both of those lessons were well received. The grade 9 Social Studies teachers and I created a one day lesson for the grade 9s on how not to plagiarize by teaching them how to summarize, paraphrase, and quote. Next challenge: scheduling the grade 8s in the library for some lessons.
3. Awards. This September, two colleagues and I received the Government of Canada's History teaching award for a PBL project we designed and implemented. I am very proud of this award because it highlights the wonderful teaching that is going on at CNB; teachers are cutting edge, looking at the curriculum to create innovative projects, and doing this all through collaboration. I also received the Diana Poole Memorial Award as the BC teacher librarian of the year. This award is an incredible honor and is something I will always cherish.
4. Speaking. I am an introvert and I am terrified of public speaking. I have been, over the last few years, challenging myself to speak more often. I've signed myself up to present at conferences and then berated myself every moment after signing up until the actual presentation was over with. I presented at the BCTLA conference in October and I also delivered my acceptance speech at that same conference and felt that both went better than expected. I feel like I am slowly getting better at conquering my nerves but I recognize that I still have a long road ahead of me.
5. Technology. I'm not one of those tech savvy tls that's on the cutting edge of everything. This year I have really tried to set up my game around technology - I have taken on running the virtual field trips, I've embraced GAFE and hope to implement it at my school, and I'm trying new web tools more frequently.