Saturday, January 7, 2017

Have A Future Ready New Year

A New Year With New Goals

It is always exciting to return to school after the start of the new year. The rollover of the calendar represents an opportunity to change and evolve as we work to improve our craft in education.

Pick Future Ready Components To Target

We all have different strengths as teacher librarians. Perhaps we should resolve to focus on Future Ready components that promote our strengths as the new year begins. The components I want to explore as we return to school follow below:

Empower Students As Creators

In recent years, I have witnessed the power of encouraging students to create. Many times, teacher librarians might be the only adults providing opportunities for learners to innovate in designated school spaces. This doesn't only mean in a makerspace. I frequently have students that bring me stories they have written. They also tell me about manga fiction they are wanting to write and draw. These are perfect chances for us to show interest in student work in the same ways we observe and encourage their makerspace innovations. The library is the perfect space and environment for students to create anything new! When we show interest, we empower them. The halls are full of creations waiting to happen. How can we better encourage learners? We never know what future author or engineer is waiting for a positive word. Encouragement and empowerment can change a student's life!

Build Instructional Partnerships

Building Instructional Partnerships is an area I want to continue developing in our learning community. Supporting instruction is one of the school library's most valuable functions. We have a wealth of

resources and skills for assisting teachers and students in learning. I love helping teachers bring their class novels to life through our many collaborative programs. Some of my favorites are based on The Great Gatsby and Out Of The Dust.  I want to continue using  Open Educational Resources (OER) to help teachers enhance their digital lessons this year. I also want to partner with ELA, math, science, and other subject teachers. (Even if I have to go to their classrooms!)

Facilitate Professional Learning

As we add more devices into our school, the need for more professional learning rises. We have 
already teamed up with tech savvy teachers in our building to provide support for new digital classroom tools. We became a Google school in August so we decided to create a Google Classroom with tips and tricks for our learning community as they learn to use these new tools. Perhaps we can also invite some of our student innovators to help us provide professional learning opportunities for our faculty during lunch. A few years ago, we invited two students to present Prezi, and it was a success! Earlier this
year, we had students present Breakout EDU. There are countless possibilities!

Share Your Journey With Your Learning Community

Whatever we do in the library, we should consider promoting our journey. Remember, if we don't share what we are doing, many people will never know (including administrators and other stakeholders). Send emails, post photos and video clips on social media, and write short blog posts to inform others of library activities.

Sharing the journey of your Future Ready activities will change how others perceive the library. You may have teacher colleagues and administrators that have a dated idea about what a school library should be. These actions will help transform those opinions!

Engage In The Community

Recently, Shannon Miller has been promoting the Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group. This has been a great place to read the conversations happening about all things Future Ready. In addition, remember there is a #FutureReady Twitter hashtag. This year, post your Future Ready activities and take part in the conversations!

Other Posts That Might Interest You: 

Are We Future Ready Librarians?

Future Ready Libraries Change Lives.

My table of contents for the blog is here!

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  1. Stony, you are always so inspirational. You make me want to un-retire! Thank you for what you are doing in your library and, even more, for sharing it with everyone to help build a stronger school library community.

  2. As a principal your posts make me smile. Thanks for sharing