Posts

Preparing For What Might Be My Last Year as a School Librarian

Image
  This is one version of me This school year was a hard one but not just because there was a world wide pandemic. There was that, but at our school we had so many changes that your head would spin. First, we lost two of our administrators who had been at our school for years. Why they left is a long story that doesn't need to be told except to say that it wasn't their decision to leave. Our new principal for 2020-21 had been with us only a year as an assistant principal, so this year was her first to take the helm of any school. To help her, the district selected one of her assistant principals and let her choose another. That meant our new principal only got to experience the school's traditions for three fourths of the year before everyone went on lock down March 2020. I am the last one on staff who has been at the school since its very early days, and there are only four other people on staff who worked with me at the old building. We opened the brand new campus eight ye

The School Year Has Ended, and I Have Mixed Emotions

Image
Closed until August First, this pandemic year has been extremely stressful for admin, teachers, and students. Our school started later than usual, but we had in-person, hybrid, and virtual students from mid-August until we finished last week. Also, we had to pause school three times for possible hits by a hurricane. The library was not open to students most of the year, but I was constantly working and providing lessons through Google Meet, holding book group meetings through Google Meet, and delivering books ordered by the in-person students. As to having to wear a mask every day at work, I am thrilled to leave that behind me. All in all, I can say that it was not a year that I want to repeat. Though several positive things did come out of the changes in the usual library day to day. First, I was able to do a major weeding and touched every book in the fiction section before tossing over 600 books. I made vast improvements to the resources that I share with students because I made a p

Interviewing Author, Kelly Yang, for the Annapolis Book Festival

Image
A couple of months ago I got an email asking if I would moderate a panel with the author of Parachutes , Kelly Yang. I had not read Parachutes yet, but I was game. The person scheduling the moderators said she found me through this blog and thought that I could do a good job with a young adult author. Since the book festival was going all virtual, they could invite authors and moderators from all the over the world to participate. My husband was disappointed that there was no road trip, but I liked the idea that I could participate on a Sunday afternoon in the comfort of my own home. My first order of business was to read Parachutes . I chose to listen to it. Since it was written from the point of view of two teenage girls, I liked having the two voices of the narrators. This story focuses on Claire, a Chinese parachute, who travels to the US to attend high school while living in a host home far away from her family, and Dani, of Filipino descent, who comes from a very different socio-

Promoting Reading When the Doors to the Library are Closed

Image
The beginning of school this year was unbelievable. First, the start date was delayed because of the pandemic, and then we were out three times for three different hurricanes. It was hard to keep any kind of routine going. Currently, our middle school students either are virtual or come to school everyday. The high school students are virtual or hybrid (attending school in alternating two or three times a week) with a much larger proportion choosing to be virtual. When things did finally get underway, I was told that the doors to the library would be closed to students. That has not meant that I have been sitting idle. I think that I have worked harder this year than any other.  Students can order books to be delivered on a Google Form This is the first time that I have displayed books in the library's windows I am providing lessons from my desk to whole classes, meeting individually with students to assist with research, and pulling books that students order and delivering those t

Time to Mark a Milestone in Career

Image
When I go back to school tomorrow, it is the start of a new year that we have been waiting for - a new year that we hope will eventually turn into a normal one. Starting tomorrow will begin my 41st year of teaching. Though I am not yet retiring, and I won't receive a gold watch or any other kind of recognition, I  still think that it needs some sort of marker. At least, it does to me. So on the last day before break, I posted a picture of myself taken in my library on social media. I got many comments and responses from family and friends and former colleagues, but it was the comments from former students that touched me the most.  Hearing from students that what I taught them in the library was something that was useful in college is what makes me still find my job so rewarding. If what I do doesn't translate beyond my library and my school, why teach it? Here are a couple of my favorite comments: This student did not hang out in the library but visited with his classes from 6

Using Livebinders for Hurricane Katrina Project Podcast

Image
PODCAST found here 7th Graders on Field Trip in the Ninth Ward, February 2020 Every year over the last ten I have worked with the 7th grade English teachers on a project that encompasses literature, research, a written/digital product, a field trip, and service learning. In that time there have been five different teachers who have taught ELA to this grade level. One thing that has remained constant is me, and over the years, I have developed a tool to make the research super easy for the kids. Using  Livebinders  I have been able to curate resources and collate all the tools that the students need from the very beginning of the project when they read historical fiction about Hurricane Katrina's devastation in our area to the very end with the digital scrapbook. This is truly a collaborative project between the English teachers, myself, and our colleagues at Dr. King Charter school where we visit for service learning.  That's me receiving a thank you card at

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Covid-19 Edition

Image
Found on the sidewalk on one of my daily walks in uptown New Orleans It's that time again when we celebrate teachers, and the hard work that they do in classrooms across the United States. So, I say to all you teachers out there: YOU ARE APPRECIATED!! My school is trying its best to give us little treats each and every day over the course of the week even though we are at home and not at school. The first gift was a sign for our yard, and lucky me, my sign was delivered by one of my very favorite students. I couldn't get a picture with her, but I did get one with me and the sign.  Then on Thursday, a truly wonderful treat arrived in my inbox. A thank you with quotes from different students. I love hearing what is important to them among the many things that I do at school. I think this sums it up nicely.  Click the image above to enlarge it I received something else in my email inbox from a seventh grader who created this meme just for me. Than