I’d like to extend a big welcome to the 2014-2015 school year both to our returning students and parents, and to our brand new students and families. I look forward to working with all of you in the library. One of my goals this year is to help every student use library resources not just for school requirements, but to pursue his or her own passion.
My Summer, My Fall Plans
One thing everyone to seems to agree on is that the summer literally flew by! I had a wonderful one, with some relaxation and travel, getting together with some Mira Costa teachers to talk about plans for this year, attending the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas the end of June, and participating in the Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View the end of July.
Please see my posts in my “Jane Lofton’s School Library Journey” blog for an account of the ALA Conference (part 1 and part 2) and the Google Teacher Academy. While the summer did disappear way too quickly, I am excited to be back and to have the opportunity to share what I learned in Las Vegas and Mountain View. I am especially proud, now that I have completed the Google Teacher Academy, to be a new Google Certified Teacher (GCT). As we learned during the academy:
- Outstanding educators with a passion for using innovative technologies and approaches to improve teaching and learning.
- Creative leaders who understand opportunities and challenges, and have a desire to help empower others in their local community and beyond.
- Ambassadors for change who model high expectations, life-long learning, collaboration, equity, and innovation.” http://www.google.com/edu/programs/google-teacher-academy
One of the best parts of the experience is that I have a brand new network of 64 other cohort members with whom to share ideas and get support as to how best to improve education for our students. And, one of the commitments that I made as a Google Certified Teacher is to develop an action plan. I considered a lot of possibilities, but decided that mine will be to help teachers get their students blogging. I want students not to just learn about topics they are passionate about; I want them to go on to share their expertise and creativity, and a great way to do that is by writing online journals. Blogging has so many things going for it: it allows students to find their voices, to write across the curriculum, to learn all the key elements of digital citizenship, and to build a positive digital footprint. What’s more, it can be a lot of fun! I will be writing more about this soon, but you can view my action plan now here.
Out with the Textbooks!
The main “view” in the library during registration days and the first three and a half days of school was tall stacks of textbooks. With the help of Cindy Gardner from our main office and a crew of wonderful volunteers (see below), we checked out 7,566 textbooks and processed 1,493 new ones during the last two weeks. That’s a lot of books! I couldn’t have done it without their help. The best news, though, is that we cleared the textbook stacks away so the library could return to our normal seating arrangement and make room for student visits by Thursday afternoon. You can see these students taking advantage of our return to “normal”:
Textbook piles cleared! We’re back to being a library! Come visit pic.twitter.com/aOMH15Bh0i
— MiraCostaHSLibrary (@miracostahslibr) August 29, 2014
Starting Tuesday morning, each of the Freshman English classes are scheduled for two-day orientations to learn about how they can best take advantage of the library. I look forward to spending time with each class. Please come visit if you haven’t already. We are open from 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM on Fridays.
Many thanks go to these people who helped us get the textbooks processed and distributed these last two weeks:
- Cindy Gardner, our main office clerk who supports the library, took all the returns and lost book payments
- My regular library volunteers, led by coordinator Irene White, who come each week and who also worked during textbook distribution: Irene White, Joyce Kashiwagi, Karen Gebert, Mae Sinkowitz, Melanie McFarland, Carrie Yusuda, Kathy Meola, Carrie Yasuda, Evelyn Rollins, Audrey Ritterman-Estes, and Kim Kluth
- It took all these additional textbook distribution volunteers recruited by the wonderful Ellen Chao to get the job done: Susy Werre, Debbie Strock, Edie Babbe, Barbara Helm, Lisa Bennett, Cecilia Verket, Shuntell Dixon, Patti Ackerman, Kim Brooks, Lisa Krigsman, Deida Merkens, Leslie Whittet, Kim Friedman, Tiffany King, Jeanette Pan, Lisa Taub, Karen Komatinsky, Sarah Geller, Maria Salazar, Daryle Aniello, Kim Brooks, Beth Nicosia, Sonja Pace, Carrie Cook, Joan Krull, Chris Alexiades, Michael Ann Otto, Madelaine Court, Lewis Annette, Marce Livingston, Joelle Knudson, Talia Resin, S. Chesnut, Angie Marer, Karen Avery, and Michelle Sidney
- I also had several great student volunteers: Yuka Noda, Connor Layden, Jimmy Shaw, and several additional great ASB students
Many, many thanks to all of you!