Year in Review – well sort of

Sort of because the year isn’t quite over yet, but I’ll be back into full swing of classes when it is and I know my blogging will be put on the back burner again.

Grad School – This year I took three classes with two coming up for the summer.

  • Technology for Library Services
  • Reference
  • Instructional Foundation
  • Organization of Information in Libraries (Cataloging)
  • Library Administration and Management

Reference was my favorite of all the courses I’ve taken so far. The class was nicely divided for distance education and all of the links and materials were up-to-date. The prof also responded to all my questions in a timely. But what I really liked was the course material which was like a giant scavenger hunt looking for random bits of authoritative information.

Instructional Foundations was a collaborative class and I’ll admit that I groaned quite loudly when I found that out. I ended up with a great group though and we met through Skype and I got a much better handle on using Google Docs as a collaborative tool.

The first stage of my portfolio was submitted and accepted with thankfully few corrections.

So what’s left in the old program? Materials for Children, Instructional Foundations and Leadership. Both of those are on the docket for this summer. Materials for Young Adults, Collections and a 110 hour practicum (yippee!).

Teaching

This has been an interesting year teaching. Second year working with a curriculum is always easier. I had a much better handle on what was included and how fast or slow to go on certain lessons. I was able to incorporate lots more vocabulary instruction. I moved most of the formal assessments to the computer. This is a great help with grading. Even for short response, all the responses can be seen at the same time. I tried to start a problem solving wiki with the kids, but we had a hard time with computer time for that so it went no where – at least for this year.

We added a third teacher to the team this year and it was interesting to see the dynamics of that unfold.

On the professional front, I had several interesting things happen. After a fairly uneventful (but oh so busy) first semester, I was voted Teacher of the Year for the school. This required a portfolio of its own. Several times I regretted taking two classes and having to write the portfolio, but everything eventually got done by the deadlines. We also found out that we were to be a Mission Possible school next year which meant that some new leadership positions opened up. I applied and got one of those positions! I’ll still be in the classroom, but I’ll be working as a teacher leader. I’ll explain that in more detail when I know more of the details after training.

So, the long and the short is that it’s been a busy year, busier than I thought I’d be able to handle at times, but a very productive year. Four more classes and a practicum. I’m counting down.

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