What should I write about in the blog this week? After looking at what I've been doing at school and online this past few days, reflecting on my collaborative ventures looked like a good bet.
The two chair people at my school approached me about integrating all our professional resources into the teacher reference section in the library. I loved the fact that it was their idea - it's so nice to have pro-library plans come from someone other than the teacher-librarian or school library staff member. I also loved the fact that they offered to help me weed my professional resource area to make room for the new books. When was the last time you had someone volunteer to do that for you? I'm still at the M section for the everybody books and in the F section for the fiction books. I'm also not the tidiest librarian, so my teacher reference section could use some TLC. What I'm not going to love is sorting through the dozens of videos I have. The previous librarian properly obtained the videos through ... gah, my mind has gone blank ... Classroom Connect? What's the name of the arrangement where you could legally tape things and keep them for a specified time? Anyway, I suspect many aren't used and some have expired and others just aren't known to exist. Any ideas for getting through this task without having to watch every single tape? Why does kidnapping our media/video specialist in the central library dept. sound like a good idea right now?
Two other teachers on my staff worked hard to problem-solve and get my SmartBoard working in the library. I'm the first to admit that I'm not using the technology to its maximum potential, but I have at least one big fan. I'm a 1/2 J/I SERT teacher and I'm seeing "S" to help him with his language skills. On the SmartBoard, we made an anchor chart on "What Is A Sentence", went through some examples (where he toggled back to the anchor chart to check our joint definition), then played a game found on Link To Learning called Wall of Words where you order words to make sense in a sentence. This idea and the approach came from a lunch conversation I had with the boy's class teacher and the MART/SERT/HS teacher. Their suggestions inspired the SmartBoard stuff. Now when I see "S" in the halls, he asked "So, can I come today to work with you on improving my sentences?"
The collaboration doesn't stop there. This weekend, I worked on a paper for Treasure Mountain Canada and the first portion of my capping paper for my MEd. My hubby read through sample capping papers from other years to give me some concrete advice on how to proceed and, wonders of wonders, I made the first deadline for U of A and knocked off a solid first draft of the TMC paper. I got my old-time mentor to read the TMC paper and got some positive vibes to take me forward on the next draft.
So, what wise "musings" can I extract from these sample interactions?
How about: collaboration, when it works, is darn good.