Thursday, September 9, 2010

New year, new blog post

I have several half-started (but nowhere near half-finished) blog posts that I haven’t gotten around to actually writing and posting; now is the time of year when I switch from not posting regularly because not much is going on, to not posting regularly because too much is going on. As a reader, your experience is pretty much the same. I’m all about consistency.

I’ve been back for over three weeks now (two weeks of an intensive Professional Development Institute, and then the regular week-long inservice), but today the new students arrived, making it feel like a real “first day of school.” More significantly, it is the first day of my fourth year at this school. Which is, for the record, the longest I’ve worked anywhere. Which is both exciting and kind of weird. Don’t get me wrong--I love working here, which is why I’m still here, and I’m really excited about many of the changes that are taking place, and the ways in which my job is developing. And I really like the idea of being somewhere for a length of time--establishing myself, building a program, becoming the person that can answer the new teachers’ questions.

Also, this year’s four-year seniors have never known another librarian at this school. I still can’t quite wrap my head around that.

Many exciting things on the horizon for this year (I’m aware that I keep using the word “exciting.” I do know other words, but they are stored in the less tired parts of my brain, to which I do not currently have access). My big goal for this year is to write a real, actual curriculum--beyond the big ideas of what students learn, to a year-by-year, “when and where” do they learn it plan. On one level it seems straightforward, and on another there are too many pieces for me to wrap my head around. But realizing that this year’s seniors have only had me as a librarian has lit a fire in me in terms of really taking ownership for the long-term shape of the information literacy curriculum.

We’re also doing a big push with assistive technology this year, taking what we’ve been doing and making sure it’s implemented consistently across the disciplines. This has, for a while, seemed to be a Sisyphean task (yes, I can come up with “Sisyphean,” but not a synonym for “exciting”), but momentum has finally gotten to the point where real, school-wide change is almost inevitable. I’m psyched and overwhelmed; AT is one of those things where I feel like I know enough to know what I don’t know. But I’m working with a great team of people, and we have built connections to experts who can help.

We’ve switched to a new website portal. . . thing (not to get too technical), and the state of the library website is sort of in limbo. I still have the wikispaces site I’ve had for the past three years, but at some point the library will get folded into the larger school site, which is exciting. I’ve always been a bit frustrated with the wikispaces site; I love that it makes it possible for me to have an easily editable website, but I hate that it’s not really that professional looking. It feels separate from the rest of the school website. Probably because it is. However, that integration hasn’t happened yet, so I’m kind of in between the old site and. . . something new. I don’t know what it will look like or what I’ll be able to do. I am using this experience for building my “making peace with uncertainty” skills.

In a related story, regular readers (hi Mom!) will recall that I had gotten some. . . less than enthusiastic feedback on the summer reading program. Well. In the past few weeks I’ve gotten several e-mails from students who are excited about the books that they’ve read, and are asking good questions about the summer reading projects. And they are doing some cool projects. I can’t wait to see them. In fact, one student showed me his book trailer for Carl Hiassen’s Flush this afternoon, and it was obvious (underneath his “too cool for school” exterior) that he was proud of what he’d created--and he is not the type of student I would have necessarily expected that from. I know there will still be grumbling, and I know that every student didn’t necessarily buy in, but just based on the initial feedback I’m thinking that this new program was a success. So there.

I also did a new student orientation today, which went well, but I’m not really thrilled with what I did. I’m not sure what I would have changed (if I knew, I would have fixed it beforehand); it just seemed lacking in some way. But, one of the prefects did introduce me to a new student as “the coolest librarian you’ll ever meet.” So, I got that going for me.


  1. Certainly you're the coolest librarian I've ever met (and I've met a lot of them)!

  2. I second Courtney. Also, I'm so pumped to work with you this year and expand all that is offered! We can do this! (And maybe find some time to sleep now and then)

  3. You have prefects? See, I knew that Forman was Hogwarts, thinly veiled by magic! I knew it!