With all of the media bashing of school librarians lately, I had a week at work that kindled my spirit. It was a crazy, busy week - and I am drained - yet, ultimately, it was amazingly rewarding. The week started with writing two grants - 1 for iPads and 1 for NookColors. When we get those grants (and we will get the iPad one for sure) - I will know that I had a hand in bringing new technology to our school. That makes me feel good.
Yesterday I introduced my fifth grade classes to our new project - one based on the Picturing America artwork that my library received from the NEH grant. We started with a great lesson I found in Library of Congress on Analyzing Visual Images. It was totally a higher order thinking lesson (my favorite kind!) and it was just cool to see their brains open up as we made our way through the lesson. In the morning, before they came, I hung up a lot of the artwork in the hallway - and it got people talking.
One part of the lesson was analyzing an Ansel Adams photograph of Manzanar, the Japanese internment camp for Japanese-American citizens during WWII. We spoke about the historical context of the photo, the perspective, emphasis, and message of it.
Later that day, after school, my Book Bunch Club met. Here's what was cool: one of my 5th grade girls was so moved by the story of the internment camp that she asked me to help her find a book about it. I pointed her to Weedflower, a fantastic historical fiction book. Connection! Gotta love it.
Even better was hearing the kids in the club talk about how much they love to read and how happy they were that we were meeting. I don't know, it just made me feel good to listen to them chat with each other about books they love, about being able to meet like this. 10 year olds. Gotta love it.
Finally, I find myself being pulled into advocacy on a more intense level, lately, through my local and national library networks. I am glad. But I also feel like I am spreading myself very thin. Very. And when I come home from work I am spent. I am beta testing for Capstone, Google Apps/BrainPop. I am teaching professional development and developing syllabi for Library graduate school. Not to mention the million other things I do at work. I love it - but I am tired.
One more thing, if anyone knows any school on Long Island who is looking for a GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, please let me know! My daughter needs a job! Seriously!