Summer: Rest, Read, Plan, Create, Repeat

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May 31, 2015 by Dr. Robbie Barber

The summer is a time for rest and renewal and learning.  I’ve got BIG plans for the Fall and I need to work on them now.  Not every day or every minute but its time to make plans and a few goals.  Some will not come to fruition and I forgive myself now.  But I won’t be able to look in the mirror if I don’t try something.

There is no particular order to the list.  In fact, it works better with no order.  I’ll just check off as I can.

  • Learn how to teach Sphero

I got a Sphero!  (Have you got one?!  They are small, round, and cute!)  Okay, they are not cute, but they are small and round.  I was given mad money in March to spend on some small items.  I used it to buy interesting toys, uh, tools.  Sphero is a robot in the shape of a ball (yes, my dog did pick it up when I first sent it around the room).  With an app, I can make it move like a game.  With another app, I can program it using words like “Red” to make it flash red.  With yet another app, I can program it in BASIC.  Talk about applied programming!  My tech club students are in for a surprise!

  • Make Orientation Videos

My school has a very high mobility rate – over 60%.  This means that many of the students who come in one year are not there the next.  So my library orientation is done for the entire school (1,100 students) each year.  Even with doubling & tripling classes, I may have to repeat the lessons 50 times.  That is not reasonable.  Last year I did make orientation videos, but they weren’t the hit or as effective as I thought they would be.  So I try again this year.  I plan to have separate stations – watch a video on one thing, answer questions and move to the next video.  Not sure if the quizzes will be as a group or individual, yet.  We don’t have 1:1 devices so I’ll have to borrow equipment for the 5 stations.  Still, it should be an improvement.

  • Plan Presentations

I have two secrets to share: I’ve discovered I love teaching and sharing with adults as much as the students and the more I share, the more I learn.  The hours I spent before a presentation are enormous and as a result I learn so much about what I’m “teaching”.  Everyone should try to present.  Faculty meetings are good starting places, but don’t stop there.  Take yourself out of your comfort zone.

  • Plan a calendar of activities

I sheepishly admit that I tend to fail at this, year after year.  I miss banned book week.  Or I don’t but I miss Teen Week at the Library.  I miss Constitution Day.  (FYI, I never forget Pi Day. 2016 is significant because it rounds perfectly.)  I forget to put books on display and then run around apologizing for it.  My goal is to stop apologizing, create a list, and see what happens.

  • Plan for Tickling Tech

My teachers have asked that I expand #TicklingTech to include afternoon times too.  My Reading Bowl team wants to meet on Mondays.  My Tech Club will probably meet on Tuesdays and that will leave Wednesday afternoon & Friday mornings for #TicklingTech.  The goal is to introduce technology in a safe area with help standing next to you.  No more than 30 minutes.  While it is good to plan, my best attended sessions were the ones where someone asked for help in an area and we spent the 30 min. working on that item.

  • Read.

Yes, I will start on the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl 2015-16 list.  I will read murder mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, and other things that make it to the pile.  I do not have to read everything in the pile.  I will not feel guilty for shuffling books.

I will enjoy myself.  I promise.

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