This summer was full of family and school. I was able to read a couple of professional books to help improve my library program and my teaching. I attended the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta and was so proud to teach at Lewis & Clark as I listened to Dr. Palmer and Mrs. Lawson share our very own Model School story. I learned from other educators in our district at our Liberty Leads PD sessions and shared my MakerSpace/Genius Hour experiences with a few other area library media specialists (even one that I met in Atlanta!) My family took a short vacation to Chicago, I (mentally and financially) prepared to send my first kiddo off to college in another state, and sadly we said goodbye to my father-in-law.
For the last few weeks, I have been really focused on what the 2015-2016 school year will look like in our library. Last April I began jotting down a list of things to remember or do for this year. I have slowly been working to cross things off of that that list. Some are a result of things that needed improvement from last year and some are a result of what I have learned this summer. Even after 27 years of teaching, I am always looking for how to grow and learn.
A welcome surprise came this summer when I happened to be working at school in late June when the tech guys were picking up the last of the staff desktops around the school (all staff now have a MacBook Air). I made a quick decision to remove 18 desktop computers from our library. As of this year, every student in our district will have a device, so I didn't feel that I still needed all the desktops. WOW...there is so much more room in our library with those 8 tables of computers gone (I also took the 12 laptops off tables and moved them to a charging station to use as needed). All of the sudden I had extra tables and space! So I changed up the tables in my "teaching" area with more narrow tables and was able to set up a few more work stations for kids to move to as they worked. I have some really low tables for kids who like to work on the floor, some tables with stools, and some comfy chairs grouped together for collaboration.
Of course I added a few Pinterest projects to the space as well. I spend so much time at school that it is really important to me to have a pleasant space to come to each morning and the kids always comment on the atmosphere in the library.
I have also spent some time mapping out my year with each grade level. I am sure I will not be able to fit everything in that I want to do, but I will try my very best! I also created a template for planning that helped me focus on what objectives I want to teach in each "unit" and an outline for each day of learning. I am really looking forward to our second year with our MakerSpace and the continuation of Genius Hour mixed in with some new, exciting learning I have planned.
Today I am officially back to school. I love that even after teaching for so long, I am still excited and thrilled to try new things and put into action what I have imagined!
So...here is to an amazing year in the Lewis and Clark Library Maker Center!