Monday, August 22, 2011

I Get By With A Little Help From My ...

I did not write about my IASL conference last Thursday because I was at the home of a friend of mine. She, along with two other colleagues, are part of a very special PLN of mine. We try to meet as regularly as our hectic schedules will allow us and often have to be quite creative to make these meetings possible. I've learned so much from each of them and I hope they realize how valuable they are to me as people and as professionals. I used to be quite hesitant to name people publicly on my blog but as I learn more about creating positive digital footprints, I realize that giving credit where credit is due can't be wrong. So, big kudos to:

Lisa Dempster (@LisaJDempster on Twitter)
Lisa is a secondary school teacher-librarian and she gives me such an important glimpse into the issues high school TLs navigate. Lisa taught me about using Twitter for professional learning. Lisa has also taught me, through example, how to deal with difficult people without compromising your beliefs. In addition to being a fabulous teacher-librarian that uses social media effectively in her programing, she is the Toronto counselor in the Ontario School Library Association.

Joel Krentz (@JoelKrentz on Twitter)
I enjoy sitting next to Joel when we both attend Superconference because his ideas are contagious and his knowledge deep, and combined with the thought-provoking plenary speakers at the annual library conference, my brain nearly explodes with new information. Joel is an elementary school teacher-librarian and he has helped me in so many ways. The most recent assistance came with his un-stingy sharing of resources from the book trailer project his school worked on. My school re-tooled his original rubric and it was so nice not to re-invent the wheel from scratch. Joel and I worked together on the Red Maple Steering Committee from the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading program.

Paul Kay (@PaulPKay on Twitter)
Paul and I quibble, yak, and taunt each other so much that some people erroneously assume we are married! (Just to quell any rumors, this is not the case; both of us are happily married to other [very patient] people who aren't teacher-librarians!) We appeared together on TVOntario with Annie Kidder to talk about school libraries - you can still find the clip on YouTube. Paul encouraged me to try Google Apps for Education. He signed his school up and walked me through the steps for my own school. My principal and I even visited Paul's school to check out the technology equipment he used as part of his teaching. Paul is incredibly supportive, never has "can't" in his vocabulary, and has oodles of ideas he is willing to share. He used to be an elementary school teacher-librarian but recently was promoted to vice-principal and will start his new position this September. He was the past-president (without being the president - a long story) of the Ontario School Library Association.

My descriptions are just the tip of the iceberg - these three people are absolute treasures. Similarities between the three?
  • all are on Twitter, willing and able to use social media and technology responsibly
  • all played roles in the OLA, demonstrating their leadership beyond their schools
  • all are keenly interested in learning and sharing what they learn
Our school board is very fortunate to have three such incredible teacher-librarians. I know I'm grateful.

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