Thursday, February 7, 2013

And so it begins...

This is the time of year when the children's and young adult literature world is bombarded almost weekly with announcements of books that have won medals or been named to "best of the year" lists.  A recent tweet (linked to her blog) from the wise and always knowledgeable Teri Lesesne, "Professor Nana" at Sam Houston State University and self-professed "Goddess of YA Literature," provides strong food for thought about well-intentioned school practices regarding not just prize-winning books and independent reading, but also how we sometimes think about reading, curriculum, and instruction.  We often hear "Everyone should read this book!" - sometimes from others and sometimes from ourselves.  In schools we always seem to be looking for The One Thing - the one book that all kids should read, the one app that all teachers should use, the one piece of technology that will engage all students, the one program that will make all kids pass the tests.  But as Teri points out:  One size does not fit all.  [Please read her blog for more -]

Which brings me to our newly-joined team -

All of us in ITLMS (Instructional Technology & Library Media Services - a bit of a mouthful but how wonderfully and naturally those words go together!) bring different gifts, assets, and areas of expertise to the table, but we all share a common commitment to teaching, and most importantly, to learning - the learning of our students, our teachers, our administrators, and our own learning as individuals and as a group. As we have worked together over the last several weeks, we have begun to recognize not only individual strengths, but also individual learning styles and points of view.  We are learning who is a morning or afternoon person; who is into details or the "big picture;" preferences for desktops, laptops, iPads, MacBooks, etc.; tolerance for sitting; and needs for chocolate and/or coffee.

At a recent planning session we were asked to reflect upon both past and future and put into words a "philosophy of work" (now posted to the right on this blog):

We build supportive relationships
by guiding students and educators
in using the right resources and tools
for the right learners
at the right times.

For Library Media folk, I think these words are like coming home, and not just because of the echo of "the right book for the right reader at the right time."  Most resonant may be the phrase about building "supportive relationships" - the essence of collaboration, part of the AASL Standards for over 25 years.  And for both Library Media and Instructional Tech people, this is the heart of North Carolina's IMPACT model.  I think this is what we are really looking for in our schools: people working together on complex issues that require multiple strategies at different times and for different people.  This is why we became, and still are, teachers.

Our work together is just beginning, so please come along for the ride - undoubtedly we are greater together than alone as isolated voices crying in the wilderness.  I believe that you will find that it is not just common threads that connect us, but a great deal of common ground as well.

Image courtesy of worradmu /

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said Rusty! I am thrilled and honored to be part of your team! You always share great wisdom!