Gearing up for my 36th Year of Teaching, 26th in a Library

There are only a few hours left of summer break for 2016. I start back to work on Monday, and our students will start on Thursday. Am I ready to go back? Yes and no. This has been a wonderful summer of rest and relaxation. I did not attend any conferences this summer nor did I spend hours making preparations for the new year. However, when I do reflect on the summer, I realize that my mind was never very far from the library. 

I read. I am always reading something and though I don't like reading two print books at one time, I usually have one print book going and one audio book. I review books for both School Library Journal and School Library Connection. This means that I don't always get to choose what I read, but I didn't review much this summer, though I have 5 books by my bed to review right now. I am on the committee for the state library that selects the books for Louisiana Teen Readers' Choice (LTRC). At the beginning of the summer, we narrowed our list down to 40 books for the 2018 program. I have been trying to read from that list before our next meeting in a week. Unfortunately, I can't share those titles with you because they are still on the consideration list for LTRC. Of course, I had to read the new Harry Potter as soon as it came out, and you can read my review here. 

Register here for this event
At the end of the school year, I was asked to be on a panel for the SLJ Teen Live conference. It is next week on August 10th. I am speaking at 1PM CDT on the College and Career panel. I was thrilled to be asked. When I agreed to speak, I knew my focus, but I did not know what I wanted on my slides. That took quite a bit of preparation which of course was done over summer break. I am eager to share what I do in my library for the seniors.   

This is how I am listed on the speaker page for SLJ Teen Live

I have been watching how Facebook (FB) has been evolving as a very useful professional tool. All summer long, I have been reading my feed and learning new things to use in my library. I follow several authors, probably should do more and many publishers. I am also a member of several librarian groups where I have posted questions and responded to others' questions that have given me some great ideas for my library. Some of the groups I like include ALA Think Tank, The School Librarians Workshop, and Fellowship of High School Librarians. We also have a closed group for the librarians in my school district so that we have a place to vent but also share information. There are also communities on FB centered around educational technology. I am part of a Breakout EDU group that is a fabulous place to get more information about this program. So much sharing going on with this Facebook page to help teachers, it is amazing. I just joined a FB page for users of Symbaloo. I use Symbaloo with my teachers and students and really can't live without it anymore. I am so glad that the FB page was created because I know that I have more to learn about using this tool with students. 

I also gave myself time to re-energize. I took two trips, visited with many friends, purged stuff from the back of my closets, and walked everyday. I think having time away from school and work is important. During the school year, it is hard for me to unplug. I made myself do it this summer, and I am glad that I did. I am ready to go back, and I can't wait to hear what my students have to say about the book that Rowling did not write.


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