Monday, August 18, 2014

Reinventing... and all that comes with it.

I've been in education for 23 years.  For some people that might mean the same classroom, same grade level, same school... for 23 years.  Not for me.  I've changed schools, grade levels, states, positions at the district level and even had a stint in higher ed.  Why?  Because I get itchy.  I don't like becoming stagnant or stuck in the same routine.  I grow when there's change and challenge.

And so, this year, I'm reinventing myself.  Today was my first opportunity to welcome students into my elementary library.  And it was awesome!

I've always loved books.  I remember the exact location of the entire series of Nancy Drew books in the Wenatchee Valley library.  I read the entire set (several times!)  I love technology, too, so having a job where I get to teach kids how to be literate through both print and electronic modalities is right up my alley.  I love learning new things and digging for knowledge, too.  After just one day I've been charged with a wonderful to do list that includes (but isn't limited to) finding resources to study the life cycle of a frog, looking for information for 4th graders to learn how to take care of their class pet (it's a hedgehog!), and pulling together a plan for all 1st graders to learn about how to retell a story.   Once again, I'm itching.... but not to change.  I'm itching to get started.  And I think it's gonna be fun.  Really fun.  :)

But although everything I've just said is true, it doesn't mean it's easy.  Change is hard and change is scary.  For me, there's the ever-present questions that ride on my shoulder... will I be good enough?  Will I know how?  And, what if I don't?   You'd think that someone who itches for change would welcome the uneven ground that changing schools, grade levels, states and positions brings.  Not so much.  But I'm learning how to push past that feeling and am celebrating what I do know.  And, today, I know that I'm working with some great students, at a great school, with some really great colleagues.

So for my To Do list, here's what I have so far.  I'm sure that is will grow and blossom as the ideas come flowing in!
- introducing the 2nd grade frog studiers to the differences between fiction and nonfiction by using the book Tuesday by David Weisner and some nonfiction books like Frogs by Gail Gibbons.  We'll use Discovery Education, too-  I'll be Techbook could help out with some of the nonfiction content.  And if there's time we might even make some origami frogs and have a jumping contest!
- connecting the 4th grade hedgehog caretakers with a friend who's a vet tech, animal lover and previous hedgehog momma.  Skype call, maybe?  We'll need to check discovery for this one, too.  I think there are some videos that might be useful.
- Doing some story walks with the little ones who need to learn the steps in a retell.

Yep.  I think this is going to be a challenging, ever changing but really fun and inspiring job to have.  :)

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