Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reflection

I started last year... I think... to look back over the school year and reflect on that school year.  I'm not much of a reflector but I'm trying to learn.

2016-2017 School Year:

*Only one teacher participated in my Texas 2x2 program.  I need to revamp how I do this program.  I need to make it easier on teachers.

*We had 2 author Skypes.  It was better with smaller groups.  I'm going to remember that for next school year.

*We had 1 author visit.  When an author tells me that their program really isn't for a lower grade... I'm going to listen next time.  Ha!

*I started a (Half) Hour of Code club.  My students LOVED it.  I had a huge interest.  I need to find a way to include more students even though I don't have more technology.  Maybe do two different days a week?

*I had 20,626 items circulated this year.  I had a drop in magazines so I need promote those better.

*eBooks.  I need to promote eBooks better.  Maybe add posters in the library and in the front office for parents to see.  They just don't get used.

*The Little Free Library is a success.  I occasionally have to fill it with new books.

*My Book Clubs read 7 books total this year.  I loved adding 2nd grade in mid year.  I want to add them at the beginning of the 2017-2018 year.

*LEGO Club is always a hit.  I wish I had a bigger wall so I could add more students.  They all want to be in LEGO Club.

*I really want to gentrify but the amount of work it takes is keeping me from doing it.  I just need to do it and stop thinking about it.

*I want to add more makerspaces in the library.  I need to work on funding and what kind of makerspaces to add.  I need help running them and keeping them maintained.  I also need to decide if they'll be a station in the library or a club that meets once month or more.  Or maybe a combination of that.

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For Pleasure:

I Could Pee on This Too: And More Poems by More Cats by Francesco Marciuliano is a hilarious book of poems from different cats perspective.  I'm not a cat person (I prefer dogs) but I loved this book of poems!  The poems were just so... cat. Ha! Does that sentence sense? Cats are so aloof and each poem depicted that so well.  I laughed out loud many times and made my family stop and listen to ones that really tickled me.  I don't normally read poems but since it was on my reading challenge I thought I'd get that box checked off.  I'm glad I did.  I think I'm going to start reading more poetry.

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede is a free audiobook from the Audiofile Sync summer program.  I finished listening to it last week.  It's about a world where some of the people have a power called Psi.  They can move and manipulate objects with their mind.  An incident happens that causes Taemon to loose his Psi and has to be sent away to the "Dud" farm.  Taemon accidentally leaks some of their secrets that causes some... problems.

Boys by Anna Ziegler is also a free audiobook from the Audiofile Sync summer program.  This book is based on a true story that took place in the 1960s.  An infant boy was in an accident that cause a doctor to encourage his parents to raise him as a girl.  The book explores the complexities of sexual identity, love, and family.  It's a very moving story. I can't image what the people in this story went threw.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was a POWERFUL book.  I know it's a fiction book but it really helped me understand the Black Lives Matter movement and helped me understand poverty in ways I hadn't understood before.  I highly recommend this book!

I listened Of Beast and Beauty and Beast, both fractured fairy tales.  I'm not a fan of fairy tales or fractured fairy tales so I hate to really say anything about these novels.  I will say my dad loved them so I'm sure they are a perfect fit for fairy tale lovers out there but just aren't my cup of tea.

For school:

I was assigned to read two novels on the Bluebonnet List and write 20-25 questions.

Best Man by Richard Peck is the journey of a boy from 1st grade through 6th grade.  We begin and end with a wedding.  Archer is a kid who doesn't pick up on life around him.  He needs things spelled out for him to "get" things.  His best friend and uncle are always there too help.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Five For Friday

1.  We pick up Reagan from camp tomorrow.

2.  We are so glad to see her and hear all the stories she has to tell us from the week.

3.  We take Maggie with us cuz she misses Reagan too and Reagan misses her.

4.  There's a certain... smell... to after camp clothes and suitcases.

5.  Reagan usually sleeps for a long time after she gets back!

The Beginning of the Year vs The End of the Year

Thursday I ended my 14th year in education.  As I stood on the sidewalk that morning for my morning duty watching the students walk (well, run until I told them to walk) in I thought how different the beginning of the school year is verses the end of the school year.

The beginning of the school year is filled with such hope and newness and fresh beginnings.  It's a new year in a new grade with new students or a new teacher.  The posters we stuck on our the walls are straight and untorn.  Our markers all have caps that match the color of the actual pen.  The pencils are sharp and have full erasers.  The colors are sharp and clean.   The glue bottles are clean and unsticky.  The binders close right and are fresh and clean.  The students uniforms still have buttons, no stains and the zippers work.  The teachers might have a couple of new outfits not yet ruined by dirty hands. Everything, our hopes, our dreams, our exceptions, our rooms, our supplies, are clothes are fresh, clean,  and hopeful.

But the end of the year.  Oh the end of the year.

Whatever

*  The posters are ripped.  And hanging sideways.

Whatever

*  The markers are dried out and the lids don't match the colors.

Whatever

* The pencil is barely able to fit in our hands cuz they're so short and the eraser... what eraser?

Whatever

* The zipper on the uniform pants won't budge.  Just pin it with a safety pin or two.

Whatever

* This new shirt has a stain on it.  Whatever.  I got kindergarten lunch duty anyway.  Nothing I own is safe anyway.

Whatever

* Glue this down... What?  The glue is dry.  Ok... tape it down.  Wait.  I'm out of tape.  Whatever.  This was just a filler activity anyway.

Whatever

It's amazing the different between day 1 and day 187.  I always wonder what day is it specifically that we give up on.  Or maybe it's not a specific day.  Maybe it's an accumulation of events that makes up throw our hands in the air and say whatever.

But then the summer passes and we show up in August with fresh hopes, new, clean clothes, new supplies and we are ready to do it all over again.  Because we love our jobs.  We love our students. We love to learn.  We love to teach.  And thankfully we have forgotten that "whatever" feeling... until it shows back up at the end of the year.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just Breath

This morning two students walk up to me with a huge stack of books.  Most of them are paper back so I immediately know they're not mine.

Student 1: We got these books for you!

Me:... where did they come from?

Student 2: From that white box out front of the school.

Me: (breath) The Little Free Library?

Both students start to deflate.

Student 1:  I didn't know they're free.

More breathing.  Cuz it's not like I haven't promoted our Little Free Library MULTIPLE times.

Me: Yes, it's our Little Free Library.  You can take a book and leave a book.

Students 1 & 2: Oh....

Me:  Please go put all the books back. (breath)

Both students go to put ALL the books back in our Little Free Library.  I stand there breathing some more.  Then I start laughing.  Cuz really... what else is there to do but laugh?  As both students walk back by me I notice they've each kept one book.

1 1/2 more days.  And I'm totally counting down!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Five For Friday

1.  2 1/2 days left of school.

2.  2 1/2 days never seemed so loooooonnnnnnnggggggg.

3.  I'm taking a lot of deep breathes and going to my happy place.

4.  I'm reading for pure escapism.  And I'm ok with that.

5. 2 1/2 more days... not counting this one cuz it's 8:23 in the morning and almost done anyway.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017