A colleague of mine sent this my way. Enjoy!

What a Great Day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | 0 comments »

This time, I'm kidding. My day started today with a fifth grader throwing up near my circulation desk. Luckily, his aim into the trash can was about 90% successful. However, the other 10% made it near my computer, under my printer, and in other places things normally don't go.

And yes, I had to clean most of it up. Just another day in an elementary school!!

I'm serious. Contrary to what normally happens on inservice days, we actually had a great one recently. The funny thing is, our district really did nothing spectacular other than find an incredible person to speak with us in the morning and work with us in the afternoon. I'm not sure how much his speaking fee was, but it was worth every penny. I haven't heard our teachers talk about how good an inservice day was in a long time - and it was all due to Michael Dorn.

If any of you have ever heard Michael Dorn speak on school safety and bullying, you know what I'm talking about. Michael Dorn, not of Star Trek fame, is one of the world's leading experts on school safety. His son is also an expert and has a video that is all over the place showing how students can conceal weapons in their clothing. His son wasn't there, but Michael is really the head honcho. He has tons of experience that makes him an incredible and interesting speaker. We had about 650 teachers in the room when he was speaking and I think he had the attention of all of the for well over an hour. I'm not going to go into detail about his speech, but it was very motivating and really made us think about the students in our school and what we are doing to help them feel safe - not just from intruders, but mostly from other students. I wonder how many other teachers have heard him speak.

Overall, a fantastic day.

Amanda shares a great piece from the NY Times dealing with movies about teaching that hits the spot.

California TeacherGuy wants to know why I wrote that I'm not a typical librarian. Hmmmm...let me think about that.

First and foremost, when you think of an elementary school librarian, you think of a female. That I am not. If you picture an elementary school librarian, you certainly don't think of me. Many people would picture an older person, hair up in a bun, cat-eyed glasses, long skirt, and someone who preaches silence in the library. While that image may certainly be changing, I still think it's out there. When people have asked me over the years what I do, I often hear something similar to "That's great - we need more men in the elementary schools." I've always loved working with the younger students rather than high school kids. (I spent several years as a high school tennis coach for both boys and girls teams)

Back to the library thing. Most people who enter the profession I'm in, do it because they love literature. I did not. Now, I'm not a book hater, it's just that I'm not into the book part of the job as most librarians are. Many of my colleagues probably cringe at that statement, but it's the truth. When I hear many of the other librarians in my district talking about the great children's books they read or ordered, I certainly feel like I don't know what I'm doing. In addition, I don't read books. I enjoy reading magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. With that being said, one of the best feelings I get with this teaching position is finding a book I think a student will enjoy, getting that book into their hands, and then hearing how much fun they had reading it. That's a feeling I can't get enough of. I do know that I have a long way to go as far as my knowledge of books. I feel I order great stuff for my students and compliment the curriculum in my school well, but that love of literature just isn't there. Maybe over time it will grow.

I entered this profession for the technology. I have always loved working with technology and have been pretty good at helping students learn through the use of it. It's a great tool when used correctly. After getting my Master's degree in Educational Computing, I wanted to do more with technology than I could teaching third grade. Hence, the change to the library. In my district, the librarian (or media specialist) is also in charge of teaching technology to all students. I have each grade level (kindgergarten through sixth grade) for one hour per week. Within that hour, we do the book thing and then head to the computer lab for the rest of the tine. This is the part I love.

I guess another reason I'm not the typical librarian is how I answer the question "What do you do?" Almost every librarian will say, "I'm a librarian" and be proud of it. Me, not really. My usual response is something like, "I run the library and teach the technology classes to all of the students." Why do I answer this way? Maybe it's because saying I'm a librarian makes me sound like a geek and I don't want people to think that. (This is starting to sound like therapy!) Perhaps it's because the position for me is so much more than just the librarian. My library isn't a dusty, dingy, place where you walk in, keep your mouth shut, and get a book. I want the place to be a special room in our school where you need to be. I want students to come in, find something to read, learn something, and have a good time. I don't want my library to be like libraries used to be. I want my library to be different and I want to be a different librarian.

Well, Mister Teacher wants me (and others) to list 5 things about me. Here they are:

1. While teaching third grade and loving technology, a colleague suggested I consider going back to school to become a Library Media Specialist. At the time, I thought she was crazy. Well, I already had the ME in Educational Technology, and thought, what the hell? I went back to school, got the certification, and now am in my third year as a Library Media Specialist. (I taught third grade for 8 years prior to the switch.)

2. I'm married and have 2 kids who often drive me nuts! Not just the kids, but my wife too!

3. I'm pretty involved in our teacher's union and feel it's a very important part of public education. However, I don't agree with everything.

4. I'm a huge sports fan, especially the Packers, Bucks, and TarHeel basketball.

5. I love my job. After working in the same grade for 8 years at the same school, I needed a change. I moved the to library, as you've already read, but also switched schools in the process. While I'm in the same district, the school I'm currently at is a lot of fun. Our students give us plenty of challenges (about 70% qualify for free and reduced lunch) but the staff is great and I absolutely love it everyday. Sure there are headaches I will write about down the road, but overall, I love working there.

The links are fixed!

Sunday, January 21, 2007 | 0 comments »

The links on my site are fixed! I'm not sure what I did different this time, but now they work!

I'm excited!

Sunday, January 21, 2007 | , , | 0 comments »

I decided to show my wife the geek side of me again by telling her about my blog and showing her the page. She was like - okay, no big deal. Typical response. Anytime I get some new tech gadget she's never as excited as I am. The new MacBook back in August with the built in iSight camera? No big deal. The cool bluetooth wireless mouse for Christmas? No big deal. Anything tech related that I think is cool and get excited about - is no big deal to her. Can anyone else relate to this??

Anyway, I was much more excited when I saw a comment from Learn Me Good. That was a nice surprise and I appreciated his comment. After reading a few other blogs I made my way over to his site and read his post where he mentions my blog along with a few others I plan on checking out soon. Needless to say, my rambling during this posting comes from a little excitement about the fact that someone other than me is actually reading this. Perhaps it will catch on and I will get more than 1 comment and be mentioned on more than one page.

Anyway, I'm looking to my left right now staring out the front window of my house to a beautiful snowfall. While the beauty of this snowfall is pretty incredible, I'm also thinking about the task I have ahead of me - shoveling and snowblowing it. However, while I'm doing that, my first grade daughter and almost 4 year old son will have a blast playing outside. That excitement for my daughter will not compare to what she will do later today - go see the High School Musical concert with her mom and some friends. If any of you have kids who love that movie, you know what I'm talking about.

I've been working on setting up my page with some of the great blogs I've been reading. However, after linking to some of the blogs, I've discovered they don't work correctly. Now, I'm not an idiot, I've done some some web work over the years and know how to do this. I guess I'll have to play around with it a little bit.

Now, the story of the day - or at least the last couple of days. After reading about the snow day situation written by Learn Me Good, I decided to write about a little weather related story at my school. We have a guy who is responsible for taking care of our building - I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, we've had some snow over the past few days and this college graduate (know kidding - journalism major I think) decided that he was going to sprinkle salt on the trampled down snow in front of our school instead of using a shovel. Now, even the kindergarten students knew this probably wouldn't be the best idea. He figured it would melt the snow. The result?? Lots of slush and still no clean sidewalk. One of our second grade teachers was sick of it and went out and shoveled some of the walk herself! I thought it was pretty hilarious!

Any funny "man who takes care of the school" stories are welcome.

Now, back to trying to fix the links.

The First One

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | , , , , | 0 comments »

Wow, I've actually started a blog. I hope people read this, enjoy it, and perhaps comment. I really plan on talking about a bunch of education related things, but I may talk about my family or other stuff in my life just to change the pace. Right now, this is going to be a short one because I should be sleeping because I'm tired and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Well, for me it's going to be a long day. For some other people, it might actually be short. I have to leave for school around 7:00 and won't get home until about 6:00 because of a meeting after school. Maybe I'll find time to talk about my day in the library of the elementary school I work in, maybe not. Either way it might be something I try and do.

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