Monday, October 22, 2012

The balance beam struggle

Currently I am thinking about balances. We all need balance, in what we eat, how we spend our time,  even how we spend our money. According to my nutritionist, I am NOT balanced and we are working on that. (This means limiting chocolate and carbs, what had been the major staple of my diet.) Right now I am wondering about my library budget, is it in balance? The part of me that craves chocolate says no, more money should be spent on books to support reading for pleasure; while that piece of my brain concerned with 21st century learning says, spend more on online databases and technology. With all the changes in delivery of instruction, technologies are necessary, and can bring student engagement -- but books, with all the stories and people and adventures and mysteries can lift a student up and out of their own lives, bringing perspective and insight. I don't think the school budget dilemma  will be as easily solved as having a doctor (or principal?) tell you what to eat, or spend.  I think we will all be struggling on this balance beam for a while.
Are you feeling the struggle, too?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Riding the whitewater rapids of this school year

Whoo- hoooo! This school year has started with a rush, all good things, of course. Hope yours has as well. One of my primary objectives for the year was to bring more bodies into the media center - success. Students come in as soon as the door is unlocked, "can I  get this printed off before class?" and "will you edit this paper for me?" And even "I need a new book to read, anything new?"  They are there all day and after school, too. It is busy and loud and chaotic and wonderful.the best part, authentic learning is occurring! During the school day there are whole classes coming to research, because I have planned with the teacher, small groups working together, peer tutoring, and more. Over the next few weeks I will share some of the particulars, and ways I hope to begin assessing this learning.