Monday, October 29, 2012

Influencing Play

Brain from
Over the past few weeks I have spent many hours in hospitals visiting my father who had emergency brain surgery twice in 7 days. The process of healing has just begun for him, and for the rest of us, we start catching our breath.

 I have renewed deep respect for the individuals who are neurosurgeons, who have the confidence in their understandings, their learning, their skills and their experience to open someones skull, poke around in the brain to fix what they need to, put it all back the way it should be and be confident the person will be fixed to the best of their abilities and be functional again.

It is an occupation full of calculated risks, living 3D puzzles and new learning everyday. This week there is a conference going on in Japan for neurosurgeons where they all get together and huddle over a good surgery story, or a new technique to remove a tumor, or even those patients who are well remembered. Can you just imagine the conversations?

What if our neurosurgeons stopped their learning when they graduated from university? What if they did not progress beyond their basic skills? My father has one of the best & well known neurosurgeons working on him, how did he get to be counted among the best? What sets him apart from others?

After doing some research on this man I have found out he is willing to go beyond what the considered norms are, he is willing to learn more, to take more risk based on his experience and abilities. He essentially has, through his skill level, been able to operate where no surgeon has gone before and succeeded. He is the one making new styles of surgery possible, rather than waiting for others to do it. He also shares his knowledge with others through publications, presenting his findings & techniques and teaching his team. He is influencing the area of brain surgery, which makes him a great brain surgeon, not just a good one.

How can you be a great teacher or school librarian? You need to be doing what the brain surgeon does - keep looking for better ways to do things, keep your learning up to date, take risks, share what you do so others can learn from you essentially help the whole profession become better at what they do.

'A good teacher librarian anticipates play - a great teacher librarian influences play!' Adapted/changed from Margaret Atwood on Goalies 

"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can," (Arthur Ashe) and move forward to become a great teacher or school librarian.

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