Friday, August 24, 2012

Opening Doors

I knew returning to work this week would be a little crazy, but it started in a way that had the potential to derail my excitement about all that is happening in our library and school district. This summer a new HVAC system was being installed at our school. The beauty of this was the fact that we would have our own separate system from the rest of the school. This is exciting simply because we tend to run over 85 degrees or so cold you can hardly move. Needless to say a comfortable temperature has been hard to find. Now why is this important? Well, due to a really large return being added some of our shelves had to be moved.

And, yes, it is as big as a window. Not really liking how it looks but for a comfortable temperature I will adapt. This I could deal with. What I had a difficult time dealing with was the shelf movement and the fact that the books from those shelves were stacked in no particular order on tables. A large part of my first day was spent shifting through those in order to put the books back on the shelf. Yes, there was a large amount of cussing and throwing weeding of books as I went. On top of that the work is not finished, and we have had no air. All of this made for pleasant work conditions for sixth grade orientation and faculty meetings (please note the sarcasm). Let me also add that we have no windows, so it is a really stifling environment. Now that you have read my rant you are probably asking if there is a point to all of this. Don't worry I am getting there. 

This summer I had the opportunity to be involved with staff development across the state. While being involved with this, I had time to ask questions of media and technology professionals in order to prepare for the professional development I would be offering our district media coordinators. One particular conversation with Jackie Pierson, Director of Media Services with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, encouraged me to start with a theme. What I developed was Opening Doors to the Future. You Are the Key.

After dealing with all the drama of HVAC, heat, disorganized books, etc. there was the potential for my frustration and negativity to derail the positive environment I hoped to create for the media coordinator professional development. Yet, after taking a closer look at what was important during this first week of school I was able to refocus. What happened was a great day of collaboration and conversation. You might have already read about QR Code Meet and Greet that started the day. This lead to great discussions and set the tone for the day. I am not going to give all the details of our day but based on the evaluations I feel that everyone left inspired and ready to tackle the year. This is especially important to our teachers who are undergoing so much change with new standards. To me the beauty of this change is that there are so many doors open to us and all we have to do is turn the key. Be the key in your school as the year progresses. Don't let those little things that don't really matter take away from what you have to offer. Students are our priority and we need to be leaders in our schools in order to help open those doors.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

QR Code Musical Meet and Greet

This morning I was involved with professional development for our county media coordinators, and one goal for me was to make sure to keep things on a positive note. In order to do that I wanted to start the day with a fun activity. What emerged was a QR Code Musical Meet and Greet. I developed a list of about twenty discussion topics and created QR Codes for each. Discussion topics were personal and professional in nature. Here are the questions I used.

  • Discuss a time when you used the Big6 with a class.
  • What does ITES stand for?
  • Do you have a good strategy for using informational text with students?
  • What is the research model adopted by HCPS?
  • Provide an example of how  you have taught students ethical behavior online.
  • Name an example of how teachers can maintain high expectations.
  • How do you build positive relationships in your building?
  • What’s your favorite children’s book?
  • What did you do on your summer vacation?
  • What makes for successful collaboration?
  • How do you advocate for your program?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • Do you prefer Apple or PC? Why?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • How are you supporting the transition to Common Core and Essential Standards?
  • Have you used social media to enhance your learning? How?
  • Describe your favorite lesson.
  • If you were on a desert island, what one item would you take with you? Why?
  • Provide an example of a program you created to support reading. 

The QR Codes were posted around the room and when the music played you had to make your way to another QR Code. Once the music stopped participants had to be at a QR Code with another person. They would then scan the code and discuss the topic that was displayed. 

This activity generated not only excitement but prompted others to consider activities using QR Codes with their own school communities. I shared with them information about creating their own QR Codes, and I can't wait to see what happens at their own schools!

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's All About Marketing

In the past, many of my presentations for my state conference have included a session where I provide a quick and dirty brief overview of some of the programming etc. that we are providing in the media center. Along with this presentation I also talk about how our schooling should provide a course in marketing. To me marketing is one of the easiest steps to begin advocating for your program. Promoting what you are doing is critical to gaining the support of your administration, teachers, students, and school district. 

With that being said, I have really begun to feel like a slogan might be just what the doctor librarian ordered. The idea really started with a mural that was started for the library. Working with the artist we came up with "An Eye on the Future". 

This is a picture of the start of the mural. The focus of the eye will reflect the change of the printed word. I am hoping that the mural gets completed soon. Unfortunately, we have had some difficulty getting it finished, but that is another story. 

In thinking about this concept of An Eye on the Future, I wanted to think of something to take it a step further. Why did this really matter? What I came up with was this:

The FRMS Media Center - Where we have an eye on the future so students can Dream*, Discover, and Design. I will be incorporating this into my emails, flyers, etc. Pretty much everything that is published by the library will include this slogan.

How are you marketing your library? 

*Special thanks to Jennifer Lagarde who helped me with the addition of Dream.