Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What Did You Learn Today @peel21st? (#peel21st #peel21st188)

My name is Alicia and I am a proud  Teacher Librarian in a secondary school.

The reality is that despite being exhausted (‘tis the season…and apparently I agreed to participate in this blog post at 4:30 am over a month ago!) I love my job; I love that I can learn new things each day from both the amazing staff and curious students in my building.

Recently though, I've learned more about collaboration and leadership as I completed my Library Specialist and developed a PD opportunity for our staff.  I really admire and appreciate our ITRT, ; he is amazing, helpful and inspirational, and was a big part of our Library Learning Commons and #technasium this semester while we ran the Lunchtime Workshop Series to support staff learning of 21st century teaching tools.

Additionally, I’ve had the pleasure of working collaboratively with my LLC PIC (Partner In Crime),  even more this semester.  As I've mentioned before, “ we continue to refine our expertise and expand our knowledge through professional relationships and conversations with colleagues” (Partnering for Success: A Resource Handbook for Mentors, 2).  Jayne and I have built a strong working relationship; we work to balance each other and regularly promote the ever expanding program offered here  LLC ( & ).

This semester I've continued to learn from experience that “...we don’t learn to teach. Rather, we learn from our teaching” (Partnering for Success: A Resource Handbook for Mentors, 2).  This, of course, couldn't have authentic roots without collaboration, so I guess that means I’ve learned that collaboration is the core and key to my success as an educator! (281…close enough!)


Friday, 5 December 2014

All That Effort

To be honest, I’m exhausted.


For about two weeks, the above line is all that I could write.  I could say it was writers block, but that would be a lie.  In fact, I’ve been continuing to work hard and have plenty of things to say and write about the experiences I’ve had lately, I just don’t have the time.


The reality is that each night I collapse into bed wishing for just a few more hours a day to complete all the things I wish I could have done.  Just a few more hours with my children.  Just a few more hours to get through all the reading I promised I could do.  Just a few more hours to reach out to friends and family that I don’t see on a regular basis.  Just a few more hours so I could find some time for me.


Instead I fall into a fitful sleep of stress and worry, often interrupted by my extra sensitive five year old who only finds night time solace in co-sleeping.




One of the best parts of working on my Library Specialist Additional Qualification this semester is that the adult learning model was honoured.  Because I could direct my learning and make it applicable to my daily professional practice, this took some of the expected stress out of the course.  Each week I was provided with clear guidelines while at the same time being respected to make selections appropriate for the learning I needed to build the program in our Library Learning Commons.


I continued through the course with a focus on 21st century teaching and learning tools, and found many resources that supported my research in this area.  The Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada 2014 Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada 2014 was by far the most informative on-line resource I accessed.  Additionally, the recently published text Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times (2014) by Eric Sheninger was highly informative as I learned more about taking on a leadership role in my school.  Through this independent learning opportunity focusing on the use of technology and leadership in my school community, I have made valuable connections with staff and admin, as well as learned more about the challenges and rewards of taking on a leadership role.


Despite the fact that I often feel like the tank is running on empty, I know that all that effort does not go unnoticed.  I am thankful for the ongoing support of my course instructor who provides positive feedback, my partner in crime who is often a listening ear, the quiet colleague who reminds me in an email that our program is awesome, and the friend who sends a text to say keep it up – you are so valuable to our school.


As educators we work in a dynamic environment filled with challenges and rewards, and despite the juggling act that is our profession, we persevere.