I agree with and understand my principal's position but it's difficult not to pull out all the stops when special guests enter the school. When I had my last Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA), I arranged for my last principal to see the culminating task for one of my favourite collaboratively taught units - the NADCAA auction after our Grade 4 research study on Canada's natural resources. Although it is not necessarily indicative of the type of daily activities I undertake, it is a better observation of what my students are capable of as learners and what I am capable of as an instructor/facilitator.
I realize that he will only be in the building for an hour or so and it's not a TPA scenario, but I thought I'd list three things I wish my director could see in my school library.
1) My Primary classes working on their TV shows
|The folders contain our related media texts.|
2) My students using Minecraft
One of the classes that have media with me chose to use Minecraft as the vehicle for their production. I had some trouble with opening the LAN so the students could build the sets needed for the show and one day, a recent graduate came by to volunteer. He showed me how to get the LAN connection to work and changed all the character skins to match the requirements of the screenwriters and wardrobe crew. Word must have spread because the next day, three of our former Minecraft Club members that are now in Grade 9 were waiting after school to see if I needed any Minecraft-related "help". Although Minecraft Club is "paused" right now, I wish the director could see the incredible creations our students build while in Minecraft.
|Technascribe built this medieval church in our GamingEdus server.|
Book exchange is often boring to watch. I tell my students that if we only did book exchange during our library time without lessons, then they wouldn't need a teacher-librarian with the training I have. However, there are times where it would be lovely to have people witness what occurs during some book exchanges. Public librarians call some of these moments "Reader Advisory" - that time when someone approaches and asks for a recommendation. Then there's the conversations that occur about how to find desired books (which often lead to individual review lessons on the online catalogue) or on whether or not students are permitted to borrow certain books (which they then reference the strategies list for selecting books on a semi-permanent bulletin board). These kinds of interactions happen when I have a library assistant or one of my adult volunteers manning the circulation desk, leaving me free to circulate myself and be available. I wish that the new shelving unit we ordered for our graphic novels would be there for his visit, to showcase the great collection of comics we own - I suspect we have the largest collection of graphic novels in any elementary school in our board (and this wasn't noticed by the team that conducted our District Review, to my chagrin) - but maybe seeing the students rush to this area, cobbled together with tables and metal stands, will show that our school still has needs as well as successes to share.
I've been working with my students on articulating what and why they are learning, related to our division inquiry questions (on control for primaries, truth for juniors, and success for intermediates). We'll see how it goes next Monday.