Students Begin on August 10th

PFTSTA Library
All Readers Welcome

In just two days, I will begin my 35th year of teaching and 10th year at Patrick Taylor. No longer am I nervous like I was so many years ago. Now I am brimming with excitement about all the special events that I have planned in the library this year and all the new books that may come our way as the year unfolds. 

To get ready for the new year, I began cleaning up the library website. There are always edits and updates that I want to make. I am anticipating changing the look of the website, but I want to gather some new pictures before I do that. One of the sections of the website that I am most proud of is the one offering assistance to the students in preparation for college applications. You can find a link to that page here

Finding authors to visit or skype with takes time because of all the scheduling logistics. The sixth and seventh graders will meet Jewell Parker Rhodes in October. This will be her third trip to our school, but the first in our new building. She has been a real friend to our students and our school, and I can't wait to see her again. I have one skype visit scheduled for the middle school book group in September, and I am working on one for the high school book group, too. Last year I wrote two Donor's Choose projects to get books for the middle school book group. I am not sure if I will do that again. The other day I decided to use my Scholastic Dollars from last year's book fair to purchase fifteen copies of a book for the book group. 

Legos Poject from Donor's Choose

I had posted a thousand dollar Donor's Choose project last school year to start a makers space in the library. It did not get fully funded. I was not sure what happens to the money that is donated to your classroom. Now I know. Once my unfunded project expired, I was sent gift cards by the donors to use as I saw fit. I only had a couple of weeks to use the cards. I quickly rewrote my mobile makers space project to include the Legos and not any of the expensive electronics, and I made sure the total cost of the project added up to the total that I was given in gift cards. As soon as Donor's Choose approved of my project, I spend the money. Last week the items arrived, and the materials will be available for the students to use from day one. 

At the end of the school year, all the teachers recieved a $25 gift card to Walmart for Teacher's Appreciation Week. I decided to visit the store to buy some things for the library. I was able to find two new games to add to our collection. I will need to learn how to play them, but the kids are willing to learn alongside me. 

Of course, there are new books to add to the collection. I placed an order in May to be delivered in July. These include all the books that were nominated for YALSA"s Teen's Top Ten. Voting opens soon so I need to make a display of those books ASAP. 

For two days before teachers reported to school, I helped with our school's orientation for new teachers. I got to talk about all things library. I also made a 30 minute presentation to returning faculty during our professional development prior to the opening of school. Last week I was bombarded by the teachers about projects that they are planning in which they want me to collaborate. I love that. It means that I have trained them well. 

I am ready for another school year to begin. One aspect about the library that really appeals to me is that no matter how much you plan, something fun and exciting for you and the students could be lurking around the corner at any time. 

"You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve." - quote by Ginny WeasleyHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling


  1. I hope your first day went well, Elizabeth! I'm working on my website, too, this summer! Best of luck!

    1. Our first day went super well. I have opened for 8th-12th. I am waiting until Thursday for the 6th and 7th grade. They are chomping at the bit to visit the library.


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