Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moving On?

Here's a heads up for anyone reading this that I am going to put this blog on hiatus for a while. I have just started a new blog - - that I want to try to focus on, at least for right now. So, please visit me there :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time to move on...

I titled my last post "It is the best of times, it is the worst of times." The last several days has definitely felt like the worst of times for me personally. My job as teacher librarian at Lindero Canyon Middle School is now over, and I learned Wednesday afternoon that I wasn't offered one of the new media specialist jobs in its place. Having given my all to my school library for seven years and built a program of reading and enrichment and of information literacy, research, digital citizenship, and integrated technology instruction that I believe was outstanding, made that decision feel devastating. As of today, though, I am honestly starting to feel, instead, that it was a blessing in disguise. My future right now is very uncertain --- will I work as a language arts teacher at my school, integrating all my library and tech expertise for my students and continue to enjoy the comraderie of my language arts teacher friends, or will I find a school library position elsewhere where I can begin a new adventure sharing my passion for libraries and all my library and tech skills? That, I don't know right now. However, I now welcome either of those prospects, and honestly believe that either of them will be a better use of my skills than I would have in the new positions where I would have been stretched so thin between different schools that I would have been unable to fully develop the kind of programs I would want to at any of them. If you are reading this, please cheer me on to my new tomorrow :)

P.S. In any case, this summer will include lots of time planning for CSLA as Conference Chair and as incoming Southern Section Chair. I'm so excited about both!

Monday, May 25, 2009

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times

I can't believe another school year is almost over. Just three and a half weeks left! Here are some great things that have happened this year:
  • The library is busier than ever with student visits, projects, and great new books.
  • We moved to a temporary library during campus construction. We're pretty cramped for space and I have no office, but nice things about it are that I am always out in the library to work with students, the computer lab is now next door, and I am getting to mingle more with a different group of teachers who have rooms in my building.
  • Our district got a fantastic EETT (Enhancing Education Through Technology) federal grant that funded two class sets of laptops, headphones, and responders for our school, along with teacher training. Jani Nelson and I were chosen to be the two tech/mentors for the school, helping teachers and students to take advantage of this new equipment. That means that I have benefited from additional training, got to go to CUE for the first time (which was terrific!-I'm definitely hooked), and am having a wonderful time working with teachers and students using the laptops for enriching projects and activities.
  • I've added two new responsilities with CSLA: President Elect of Southern Section and Chair of the 2009 Conference scheduled for November 19-22, 2009. Please put the latter on your calendar. It's going to be great!
  • I got to present at the Ventura County Office of Education Library Conference, our district Staff Development Day, the CSLA Annual Conference, and CSLA's Southern Section Spring Workshop.
  • I got an iPhone, and also joined the cloud computing world. I love it!
  • We just finished a great book fair, had a great author visit with Jennifer Anne Kogler in December, and are looking forward to hosting author Neal Shusterman May 27.
  • Did I mention that I love my job working with students and teachers on reading, research, information literacy, and technology?
Here are some very sad things that have happened this year:
  • The state of the California budget is a disaster, and education, as well as many, many social services are suffering and appear bound to suffer even more.
  • Our district has decided that teacher librarians as we know them are no longer needed. Instead, the six TLs in our district and the two teachers on special assignment for technology are going to be replaced by three new positions that will somehow do the work of both. What that means is that three people are going to need to try to cover the work now being done by eight hard working people. While I am, of course, mourning the loss of my job which I love, I am most of all mourning the loss to our students who will no longer have on-site teacher librarians to help them become critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical digital citizens and users of information. This comes at a time when our children need help with these skills more than ever. I'm still waiting to know how these new positions can be expected to fill this void, and what my own job will be next school year. Stay tuned.