Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shape shifting

As I contemplate returning to work after 2 restful, and much needed weeks of holidays, I am thinking of the things that await me - the myriad of job, messages, appointments, requests, meetings, orders, training etc that will hit me as I walk into the library tomorrow morning at 7:40am.

Education is not a free ride. Teachers work hard, schools are dynamic places of activity and learning. Much is expected of us as educators, and as the lone TL in a brand new IB school of 720 students ranging in age from 4 to 13, with an constant changing population and a school that will grow to 1400 over the next 5 years, most things that I do tomorrow, and for the rest of the year will have an impact on systems, accommodation, collaboration, collection and expectations in the future. What I do now will have some affect what the library and its staff can do in the future.

This is a bit of a sobering thought and something that I am trying to take seriously by implementing systems and policy that is flexible, practical and has room for improvements and growth. But what I do as a teacher in connecting to and with people is important as well, as it will set the scene for those who come after me.

Once I worked in a school where we tried to implement a flexible teaching schedule for the Primary library, I unfortunately left before it was implemented so I never really got the chance to work with such a beast, but now I have the chance as there is no other option but to have a flexible schedule with a K-8 population and one TL.

I have sprouted for years the benefits of the flexible schedule, and read copious amounts of literature on the topic, I do have an idea of how it should look and what needs to be done. Last term I had to spend most of my time just setting up the library and had only a few opportunities to teach, but now that huge job is pretty much under control, this term is the term to start using the teacher part of my job title. I am excited, but at the same time concerned that I won't learn fast enough, and that I will not meet the expectations that I have set myself or that others may have of me. My plan is to work with each year level on one unit of inquiry over the next two terms, and evaluate from there.

My first planning meeting is on Tuesday afternoon - Year 1, unit of inquiry - Story.
I am not sure where this unit is going or the focus and I suppose that is why we have a planning meeting. I am looking forward to it and the journey of learning it will take me on.

For info on Flexible scheduling see here from the Fairfax County Schools Website


FManning said...

Best wishes Dianne, it sounds like it is going to be an exciting year. I'm looking forward to keeping informed of your developments!

A Tilke said...

Although it is a bit different, I was reminded - as I read the blog about reflecting - about using memo technique in grounded theory research. This is good because it crystalises thoughts at one particular time and, for research, identifies bias and articulates thinking. It does more than that as well and is worth doing especially if you're not brave enough to do a blog. If you want more info about memoing technique, try Kathy Charmaz's "Constructing grounded theory" (2006). I understand a lot of it is available on Google Scholar. Well done though, Dianne. Very thought provoking.