Okay so this post is one of those “I’m feeling guilty for neglecting my blog lately” garden variety posts. I’ve seen numerous ones in my reader just like this. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote here too, but I have a legitimate excuse. We have been back to school since the beginning of August, and our students have now completed eleven whole days of their obligatory state mandated one hundred eighty. So quite honestly I haven’t had time to think of writing.
Let there be light
In the library we have been swatting out annoying tech problems (have been reduced from 40 workstations to 31 since school began, with only a speck of light at the end of this dark tunnel to raise our hopes in getting back to this.) I made a case for getting the library a set of netbooks, but the compromise is the promise of a few new desktops to replace the “dead” ones as my tech guy refers to them.
If you build it, they will come
We planned and implemented a “Welcome Back to School Planning Period Paradise” for our 120 or so teachers, and had 78 attend. We served up muffins, danishes and coffee, followed by chips, cookies, and sodas or water as we mingled with our teachers, while simultaneously doing a balancing act of juggling our scheduled classes each block-we are talented or crazy, I haven’t figured out which. We managed to pull together 14 door prizes (all loot from former conferences, as well as four book certificates for winners) and tossed around the idea of doing this again in the spring near Teacher Appreciation Week.
We made some serious changes in policies in the library, including ending the need for passes in the morning and requiring students to login in as themselves, and ending the use of a generic log in with very little push back I might add. It took expressing our expectations day one and being consistent, and now that 90% are complying, I am on a mission to have the generic account ended for my school. It serves no purpose other than giving students (and teachers who use it) total anonymity online.
Newbie no more–the honeymoon is over
I wish I had more meaty info to share here, but I justify it (which is really just called rightly so “excuses, excuses, excuses”) as this being just my second year in this school, so plenty of room for growth. Oh yeah, the honeymon is over, and now it’s time to live up to some of the expectations I laid a foundation for last year. Step up and put up, or shut up.
It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to
On a side note, I tell every new teacher, be it a veteran teacher new to our building or a fresh out of college beginning teacher, to treat their first year as a honeymoon and ask for everything. Being new makes it permissible and forgivable to not know any better about what can be asked for, so ask for everything. So my honeymoon’s over. I have to find a new strategy to get what I want. Right now my only glimmer of hope looks like grants. Sigh. No tears though, I am up for the challenge.
Other successes (so far):
- Ive gotten a teacher (small victory, I know) to finally accept that he hates assigning and grading boring powerpoints that read like research papers, and so we are working together to teach powerpoint zen, and even have a project on the horizon for a project that calls for presentations that DO NOT use powerpoint. We are going to coax out the creative juices and show kids alternatives (like prezi, xtranormal, and more…) I don’t want to overwhelm him (or the kids.)
- I have been approved to attend MEMO in St. Cloud, MN as well as the School Library Journal leadership Summit in Chicago, IL, both in October just three weeks apart.
Wish me luck for more successes through out the school year!