Monday, December 27, 2010

My Top 2010 Things

My husband and I love End-of-the-Year lists, so I decided to make one of my own. I've discovered so many great things this year - new music, books, and a great network of librarians and educators. So, here we go - my top 5 favorites of 2010:

  1. Laurie Halse Anderson - The discovery of this amazing author is very old hat to most, but I read my first LHA book only this year.  As an assignment for a graduate course, I was creating a Unit of Study about the Revolutionary War for 7th Grade American History(see accompanying Glogster from my presentation), and when I searched for fiction books to use, I immediately found 'Chains'. Being a former Teen Programmer at a public library, I had heard of LHA before, of course, had read countless reviews in SLJ and had even recommended 'Wintergirls' once to a sadly emaciated young lady who came in 'to do research on eating disorders'. However, I had never picked up one of her books on my own until this year, and it was because of a class project. Holy. Effing. Mother. 'Chains' knocked my socks off. A book I had chose to read for school had me up at 3am, sobbing so hard that I accidentally woke my poor husband. After that, even though I was at my peak stress time for the semester, and really didn't have time for recreational reading, I was rabid for 'Forge', which had luckily just been released. I devoured it in much the same state of deep emotional attachment to Curzon, Isabel and little Ruth. I am eagerly awaiting 'Ashes', and have my sights set on 'Fever 1793' for the immediate future. After following her on Twitter, I have found LHA to not only be an amazing writer, but just an all-around interesting lady. I can't believe that it took me that long to read one of her books, but am I ever glad that I did!  
  2. The Big Bang Theory - My husband and I are late comers to this show, and we quickly made up for this serious transgression by purchasing the first three seasons on DVD after deciding on a whim to check out the show via Netflix. We binged on BBT episodes until we were completely caught up and ready for the fourth season, totally in love with Sheldon, and wondering what took us so long to find this gem. BAZINGA!
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - Best. Movie. Of. The. Year. Period. I'm a little biased, because I am an admittedly HP uber-geek, but I thought that this movie was really well done, visually and emotionally. The strained period of Harry and Hermione wandering in the wilderness was done so well as to not be tedious and drawn-out. The glimpse of Dumbledore was heartbreaking. It was all incredible. Swoon!
  4. Twitter - I started really using Twitter only this year, and I like it so much more than Facebook. It is equal parts informative and non-intrusive. It has also been the gateway to finding a new network of librarians and teachers that have taught me tons in just a few short months. And all in 140 characters or less!
  5. My husband's mad cooking skills - I began graduate school in the latter part of this year, and due to my much busier schedule, my husband has had to take over the previously shared duty of cooking. Over the course of this year, I have watched him evolve from making only safe and predictable favorites to experimenting with recipes and really enjoying himself through cooking. It's been wonderful because I love it when my husband finds something he enjoys, and I get to reap the tasty benefits.
2010 has been wonderful to my family and I, and I couldn't be more thankful. Here is to 2011!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Something New Every Day

So, despite budget cuts and attacks on public education, this is an INCREDIBLE time to be going into the field of education.

Just today, in the span of an hour, I've found the blogs of like-minded educators who gave me great ideas for future use, I've learned about the correlation between PISA scores and poverty, and I found out that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offers teacher workshops and lesson plans!

The vast amount of information is amazing, and sometimes overwhelming, but I am grateful to know it is out there, and that it will help me be a better teacher librarian.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thoughts on Homework

I've been productive on this snow day - I've cleaned, played outside, and played countless games of checkers with my oldest son. I've also read some great tweets and blogs about the phenomenon of homework.

It turns out that many in the education community aren't happy with the practice, and find it unnecessary. I couldn't agree more! To sum up thoughts I've heard today that mesh with my own, homework shouldn't be something that is given simply because it always has been. It is a true hindrance in many families, and unnecessary busy work in others. It also relies on institution as opposed to reality and the distinct needs of students.

I've been so encouraged by finding all of these like-minded people. So much of what I've always thought and felt about education has been somewhat contradictory to what I've been learning in my courses, and I'm thrilled to learn there are people in the education field who have massive amounts of experience, yet still think the same way that I do about key parts of being an educator. chocolate time!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


So, this is my first post of my shiny, new blog!
I got inspired to try my hand at this after participating in #edchat on Twitter. I follow a TON of blogs on Google Reader, and follow many of those authors on Twitter as well. I felt like I was taking in all of this great information, and giving nothing back.Even though I don't have much expertise or experience to give back, I was told by David Wees that "[t]here is always room for synthesizing and reflecting on your own learning and experiences as an educator." And I realized he was absolutely right. If nothing else, this will be a concrete place where I can look back at what I've learned over the course of this journey.

This journey being becoming a school librarian. It's truly my dream job, and one I am in the process of working toward as we speak. I am a graduate student, earning my teaching certification in Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies. After that is completed, I plan on entering a program to earn my School Media Librarian certification with an Ed Tech endorsement. I have lots of library experience, so I'm not flying completely blind :)

I look forward to sharing here, and venting here, and learning here. And if anyone happens to read this, I hope that you get to share, vent, and learn here as well.