Roadschooling

We’ve come back to Bundaberg for a week with Nanna, and this is a chance to get stuck into our roadschooling adventure. The enormous challenge at the moment is the absence of wifi. Mum doesn’t have it, and Telstra being the monopolied rip-off merchants they are don’t offer a prepaid service that meets our needs. They also have very interesting methods of calculating data use. How the heck they think I used up 6GB in 1 week checking email, social media and using Google Maps, The End, is beyond me?

Anyway, we’ve made use of the Bundaberg Library, which is a lovely space (today they randomly had a highschool brass band playing) and I’ve finally been able to subscribe to Mathletics. On the road I have also purchased a bunch of workbooks which, given the state of flux we are in puts my mind at rest for the time being. My biggest challenge at the moment is finding a free online curriculum organiser that will help me keep track of things.

Our rough curriculum at the moment is focussed on getting into a routine.

Maths

I’m being very boring with an hour of Maths each day, starting with revision: New Wave Mental Maths (who have helped us uncover some main problem issues), followed by a unit in Nelson Maths. Now we have Mathletics we might focus on that as I think she’ll be more motivated there. I’m still stuck in teacher-mode, worrying about which grade she should be doing, but trying all the time to shift my thinking to the level where she is being challenged, but not being completely overwhelmed.

Language

An hour if we can, letting Matilda choose the language: English, Spanish, Chinese. I added about half an hour of grammar to this today with a Grammar Rules workbook I picked up in the local newsagents (much to her disgust). Once we get to Spain she will focus on Spanish and I will need to keep an eye on English. Chinese is a little more problematic. I think we are going to have to rely on a serendipitous encounter for this.

Units of Inquiry

We’re not doing so well on this as we haven’t had time. We’re focussing on Australia, makes sense as we are here, but although she is discovering a lot of new things (museums, art galleries, rainforest walks), we have not had time to follow it up. She has collected about 3000 brochures and the plan is to put them together into a sort of journal/record of the trip, but this is a bit low on Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Science, Society & Environment, Geography etc

This is a bit annoying as I have to do more work before she can. I’ve decided to check out the ACARA (Australian Curriculum) and Scottish curriculum topics and see what she should cover as these are the most likely curriculums she will end up in for Secondary. I want to try to incorporate these into the UOI as much as possible.

Music

Gah, don’t even speak to me. Only plus is that she is missing it and keen to start learning again when we get to Spain.

All in all, it feels like it’s more work for 1 student than for a class HAHAHA

Advertisements

Final week #blogjune 20

Last week at school. Racing to get my bi-annual report done before Friday, book my tickets for our 2 week train jaunt around China, pack our bags, prepare gifts, clean the house, finish updating the Library policy, clear my desk…

And I get this page:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.02.51 pm.png

What do you think the Chinese Government have against infographics? Every single site seems to be blocked. I’m even trying with the VPN on (which we are not supposed to use at school) and it still won’t load. *cry cry cry*

At least I have an outline for my bi-annual report – I’m borrowing the headings from my Library Policy, which I think is a stroke of genius but is more likely biting off more than I can chew (a particular skill of mine):

Library Mission, Aims, Goals etc

  • community profile

Library Services

  • Teaching and learning (or curriculum)
    • Overview
    • Library orientation
    • Collaborative teaching
    • Development of resources
    • professional development/training
  • Reader Services
    • Book Week
    • Panda Book Awards
    • Displays
    • Book talks, discussions, book groups
    • Reading lists
    • Classroom support e.g. guided reading
  • Tech support
    • ICT lab
    • laptop / ipad loans
    • Library website
    • Recommended sites and tools
    • Training
  • Use of library space
    • Bookings

Collection development

  • Collection snapshot
    • new books
    • new collections (home language, graphic novel)
    • new digital resources

Circulation

  • circ stats e.g. top 10 primary, top 10 secondary
  • top borrowing homerooms

Staffing

  • Snapshot
  • Professional development and training attended

Evaluation and Goals – moving forward

  • Library services
  • Collection
  • Circulation
  • Staffing

Can I finish for this for Friday?? If not, I will blame the internet 🙂

Exit strategy #blogjune 16

Only 6 1/2 days of school to go. I’m tidying my desk, my Inbox, my Documents folder…and I’m sifting through the “Things I Started But Quickly Discovered Nobody Cared About So I Stopped” pile. It’s an unfortunate side effect of this role that I have developed a Very Bad Habit that goes completely against my character: I have stopped completing some tasks I know to be important when I’ve learned nobody cares about them, or worse, if I learn that other staff, or managers, mock me for doing them. It’s last minute, but I am so disappointed to make this realisation that I am going to try to rectify it to some extent by setting myself the challenge of creating an annual report for the Library using infographics.

I’m testing these sites:

Canva (can’t get the templates to load without VPN *cry cry cry*)

Piktochart (like a lot. Easy to use, pretty templates, loads without VPN)

Infogram (could be great, but templates won’t load without VPN)

Easelly (already annoying because weird layout and templates won’t load without VPN)

So I reckon I’m pretty much stuck with Piktochart, but that’s cool because it is cool! There’s some excellent advice about creating interesting annual reports here and here.

While I was playing about with them, it suddenly occurred to me that an infographic would make an awesome CV. It seems I am not the only person to have this thought! There are even companies who you can pay to create amazing graphic CVs for you, like Story Resumes, the people who created my favourite below:

lucyin

CompSIGH

Coding keeps haunting my brain. I was born just a little too late to have caught it the first time around – although I do remember having to enter simple code to get Nightmare on Elm Street or California Games booted up on our friend’s old computer. As I raise my daughter, it is suddenly everywhere – girls need to code: Code like a girlRails Girls,

Kids need to code, everybody needs to code: Hour of code

Including librarians, who are trying to set up new library management systems, or embed their OPAC into websites or blogs.

So I’ve signed up to a MOOC through Coursera: Computer Science 101, which I see other librarians have discovered before me. So far this morning I have discovered the Professor’s voice sounds a bit like Miranda Sings (well worth falling down the rabbit hole for – hilarious), but I have also CODED!

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 10.28.00 am

 

Fall

Too many Americans at our school this year. I’m starting to pronounce things with a twang. My daily blog posting is out of this world. Perhaps monthly would be a better aim?

dole queue

Apparently it’s recruiting season for international schools. A few of the other staff are in a flurry of CV writing and awkwardly asking SMT for references. I’m not sure what I’m doing. I’ve never had to worry about it before. My jobs have always come along when I needed them. I think qualified and experienced Teacher Librarians are a rarity.

Other teachers have registered with Search Associates and ISS and are heading off to job fairs. Kinda wish there was such a thing as an international librarian job fair. Not just school libraries, but all libraries. Imagine!
This time last year I was yearning to be back in public libraries. Now, I’m no longer 100%. I still miss them and miss loving going to work each day (wondrous feeling), but I’m also curious about what library life might be like if I actually worked at a decent school – one with a state of the art library, well resourced, a workable budget, technology in the library – and maybe even another librarian on campus.

Part of me is also curious to see where I could end up.

2/4. Frances – doctoral researcher

Cannot recommend this blog enough – each new post I think “argh, I won’t read I don’t have time and I’m not sure I’m interested” but I make myself and each time I come away fascinated and inspired! So many library roles, so little time! (Also I secretly hope to be on the list one day – if Scotland ever lets me come back…)

23 Librarians - and counting!

Frances Breslin Davda Frances Breslin Davda

Frances Breslin Davda is a doctoral researcher at the University of Strathclyde. That’s her on the left with her poster, which won the prize at Strathclyde’s Research Day. Frances also won best student paper at ISIC 2014 (The Information Behaviour Conference).

Books and libraries were central to my childhood: as a child I was regularly taken to my local library and one of my earliest memories is being in fancy dress enjoying stories on a mobile library.  As a voracious teen reader, I was amazed that Glasgow Libraries allowed me to borrow (via my aunt’s ticket) more than the four books my local library allowed, opening up a new world of books.

When I finished school, I undertook a degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Stirling as I wanted to work in public relations.  During my degree I worked part-time in East Dunbartonshire’s public libraries; it…

View original post 891 more words

‘In a way, the quakes have pushed us to develop our community role’: Interview with Carolyn Robertson of Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

Love this –> ‘We want to change the way people see libraries and use them. We understand the word “library” in the widest possible sense. In the 21st century, the library has taken on the role of the village square.’ Carolyn Robertson, Christchurch City Libraries (borrowing for Prezi on libraries and citizenship, thanks Matt!)

matt finch / mechanical dolphin

There can be no greater challenge to a library service than a natural disaster – except perhaps that same disaster repeated.

That’s exactly what faced Carolyn Robertson and her team at Christchurch Libraries when, in September 2010 and again in February and June of this year, earthquakes struck their home city on New Zealand’s South Island.

Yet, as Carolyn explained to me recently, ‘In a way, the quakes have pushed us to further develop our community role. They’ve actually strengthened Christchurch Libraries’ vision of equity of access.’

Carolyn Robertson of Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

I visited Carolyn, Christchurch City Libraries and Information Manager, at the city’s South Library earlier this year. It’s one of the liveliest and most modern I’ve seen in on literacy adventures throughout Northern Europe, the USA, and Australia as well as New Zealand.

The community has clearly taken to this bright, multipurpose space which includes a great café, children’s play area and an…

View original post 417 more words

Networks

One of the things I love about social media is it’s capacity to facilitate network building. This is such an important part of my job. I’ve also found twitter and Pinterest particularly brilliant for professional development and ideas. In my last job, my first in public libraries, I felt our service was a bit out of touch with contemporary library-ing, so twitter became my lifeline to all that was new and shiny.

As a teacher librarian, I had subscribed to OZTL_net listserv. In my first library role it was invaluable as I was in China, did not have a vpn (in any case social media was not such a Big Deal) and struggling to find my feet. I also joined the Shanghai Librarians Network yahoo group.

One of the most daunting things about returning to teacher librarianship is the loss of all my networks. There are beautiful people with whom I have built online (and sometimes IRL) connections that I know I will now leave behind to an extent as I am back in the land of school libraries. I am sure there are lots of TLs out there doing great things, but so far it has been a struggle to find them.

I tried posting to OZTL listserv, and although I got a couple of replies I was mostly ignored. Perusing the archives there don’t seem to be a lot of newbies on there asking questions.

I then tried Beijing Librarians Network, and got burned. My first post introducing myself has been ignored for over a week. My second one asking for help with collection codes received one response:
“Why don’t you visit a few libraries and see what others have done?”

Wow. If that were remotely possible, then I wouldn’t be posting this question on an e-list!

Feeling dispirited 😦

Am I Still Cooking? YA and ‘Adult’ Literature

Am I still cooking? YA and ‘Adult’ Literature – I delve into YA for work, but also because of this –> “boredom with an adult literature obsessed with middle class neuroses” I find it’s a lot easier to sort the wheat from the chaff in YAlit. Adolescence is an interesting thing to dwell on. My 86 year old grandmother loves to tell me how she still feels 17 inside, and sometimes catches herself in the mirror, and just can’t understand it.

matt finch / mechanical dolphin

The Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith

My friend, the children’s writer and editor Louie Stowell, was having Big Thoughts about Young Adult (YA) Literature on Twitter this week…

I collated the ensuing discussion using Storify – you can read it at this link.

Trying to respond to Louie, I find I’m a terrible critic. I lack perspective. I can’t formulate a consistent position, although I’m curious about the trend for adults to read YA literature. I feel like there’s something going on right now with adulthood and youth that’s fascinating – that really matters, even more than usual. The best I can do is wander around the borderlands between those categories. Maybe Louie’s right: maybe it’s some kind of strange intergenerational schadenfreude.

Ruth Graham tried to question adults reading YA at Salon.com earlier this year

View original post 1,699 more words

23 Librarians takes over the world!

Love this concept. Hopefully I’ll be on this list one day! #23Librarians

23 Librarians - and counting!

23LibrariansWell, not quite, although there is evidence that it has been read and discussed as far away as Japan, South Korea and Australia, as well, of course, as in other parts of the UK. It’s been so well received there that librarians in England (Virginia Power), Wales (Kristine Chapman) and Northern Ireland (Elaine Mulholland) are launching their own blogs alongside the second Scottish series in the autumn. You can find their contact details on this blog’s About page along with information about how and why the 23 Librarians concept started.

So, to quote Virginia: “Do you work in an Information Specialist role – public, academic, school, FE or HE library or in a museum or archive as an information manager?  Perhaps you work in a commercial environment as an Information/Records Manager? As part of a project highlighting the diverse range of working environments that librarians and information specialists now work in across…

View original post 186 more words