Turning “remote learning” into “connected learning”

Over the summer, some of my most meaningful interactions happened over Zoom;  a weekly “Happy Hour” with retired colleagues, a student book group that met informally all summer, a family get together to color Easter Eggs. Teachers, librarians and counselors around the country are worrying about how to make meaningful connections to students they haven’t met before.  Yet many of us have proven that can happen – by experiencing life through our own Zooms the past six months. In taking some courses this summer on […]

Planning in uncertain times

Planning for fall in uncertain times Just like teachers, librarians are facing uncertainty for the fall.   As our librarians began trying to outline fall plans, we ran across Kim Borden’s Plainview Elementary School reopening plan which inspired us to create our own leveled plan.  We wanted to have uniform expectations, even in uncertain times and provide leadership for our principals. We learned a great deal from our experiences this past spring about what we can do instructionally. Also, like many librarians, we have been monitoring […]

Remote learning begins: connecting with students and joy

Our district and many others found out recently we will be starting school with remote learning.  It’ll be different from last spring because we already knew many of our students then, but when school starts we’ll all have many students who are new to us.  It’s had a lot of us thinking about how to build connections with students.  Whether we are librarians or teachers, finding ways to bridge the gap and create a sense of community matter.  And it reminds me of what my […]

Resources on Racism for Parents and Students

The resources below are just a starting point for building more conversation and understanding.  As we begin to understand our roles as parents, educators, students – we are all learners.  Coming into this with a growth mindset allows us to create new understanding. Talking to your kids about equity, diversity and inclusion Young Adult titles: Black Lives  

What educators should expect from legislators: calling out racism

I rarely write a political blog post on my professional blog.  But today a response from my Senator’s staff felt like a bridge too far. Yesterday, I once again heard the President calling coronavirus the “Kung Flu” at a rally in Arizona.  Hearing it, I thought of all our Asian and East Asian students and how this would feel to them.  I thought of a Filipino family member telling us recently how as a boy he was called “Chink”as a child and various other derogatory […]

We are all learners together…Or how not to compare yourself and celebrate your wins.

Through conversations with many of my colleagues at conferences – I hear a common thread (other than their passion for their work).  I hear it over and over and it secretly confirms issues I’m struggling with as well. The conversation goes something like this – Is our work good enough?  Are we doing enough? Are we doing as much as others?  I hear it from newer librarians and experienced presenters as well.  I hear it on Twitter in Twitter chats, but more often in quiet […]

TXLA Conference update – Advocacy Tips!

The TXLA conference in Austin last week provided a plethora of learning opportunities for librarians!  I’ll be sharing a few notes over the next two blog posts. First off, I attended a paid preconference – “Use Your Library Voice: Personalizing Advocacy”.  This preconference has the unusual opportunity when the conference is in Austin of taking the attendees to the capitol to actually lobby their legislators at the end of the day.  (While I was unable to do that, I did catch part of the preconference). […]

SXSW Edu Recap — Book picks!

  As always, my taste at #SXSWEdu run towards an eclectic mixture of topics – from library related to teaching to technology to policy to…..well, you get the idea! I love browsing the SXSWEdu bookstore for ideas since it’s an amazing curation of all the authors speaking at their conference!  Here’s a couple I picked up(and a few more that are on my future shopping list!)   The first title is Nonobvious: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future(Rohit Bhargava).   I love reading […]

Advocating for Texas librarians

The Texas Senate has proposed a $5,000 raise for all classroom teachers in Senate Bill 3 (SB3). However, the bill doesn’t include librarians or counselors for this raise.  The Austin Statesman had a good article on the bill today.  Today, several librarians spoke at a committee hearing to advocate for us– asking for librarians to be included in Senate Bill 3.   (Thanks to Nancy Jo Lambert, Jennifer LaBoon, and Sara Stevenson.) However, the bill was still voted out of committee to go before the full […]

How do books get our attention? Library purchasing stories…

Recently I had the opportunity to be part of a panel of librarians at the Educational Books & Media Association conference in Austin, Texas.  Why were librarians there?  It was an experiment to allow publishers to get more in touch with how librarians discover book titles and how our ordering processes work. Whenever we have the opportunity to build bridges between librarians and other professionals it is a great chance for improved understandings!  (This is an example of why saying “yes” leads to unexpected learning […]