I love learning. In fact, I think most teachers are teachers because they love learning and enjoyed school; however, now that we have answers to almost any question at our fingertips learning has a different face and we, as teachers, have had to learn a new approach to teaching.
When I saw this Lego Education video I thought of my father. He was convinced I was going to be an architect or engineer as my Lego designs were nothing short of spectacular (his words, not mine) but, what it also made me realize was that I still could. Okay, so I’m past middle age…I guess… but, age will not define my learning. This is already my 3rd career and I am working on a 4th: 1) commercial fisherman; 2) advertising executive; 3) teacher; and, 4) jewellery designer. Why not be an architect, engineer or marine biologist? As long as I’m willing to do the work and learn, I think anything is possible. This is how I want my students to feel as well.
What strategies, tools, resources and networks can you implement to maintain your explorations and development?
There are so many opportunities to explore and develop learning – the struggle is that there are only 24 hours in the day. As a school community, we recently explored the resources we can offer as a staff. We made a google doc which allowed us to see whom we could go to if, for example, we needed help with science inquiry, or had a computer/technology-related question, or needed someone to create a dance unit or who could read music, or even filet a fish in under 2 minutes (that was me!). If we take the time to look close to home, we can often be pleasantly surprised at the resources that are steps away. Personally, I have been working closely with our school TL who has been an incredible support in guiding my teaching practice to include more inquiry-based learning.
What are some of the ways that educators and professionals are connecting and sharing their learning?
Recently I subscribed to LM_NET, touted as the world’s largest listserv for school libraries, and I have discovered it is a wealth of information. You can research answers on technology, budgeting and advocacy, to name a few, or ask your own questions to which librarians around the world are happy to answer or, at least, help. Although not yet a TL myself, I was pleased that I could offer advice to a librarian seeking read-alouds for grades 4 & 5. FYI, Gordon Korman’s trilogy Masterminds is a sure fire winner.
I also recently created my own twitter account and have begun following educators who inspire me to take risks, especially in the area of independent inquiry. With so many media platforms out there it is a challenge to determine which ones are the most effective. After “surfing” on twitter for a while, I can see many future possibilities for classroom teachers, administrators and teacher-librarians.
What can you do during this class and after it is over to maintain your connections and networks, to further develop your knowledge, experience and skills?
As mentioned above, twitter would be a great way to stay connected with peers from my course but, I am also on facebook and pinterest as many people remain comfortable with their platforms. I am also lucky to have a strong collegial relationship and friendship with my school librarian which has enabled me to work closely with him on inquiry collaborations, while also attending Pro-D sessions together that connect our areas of interest.
In researching external communities that can support, I discovered the BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association (https://bctla.ca/) where one can tap into a myriad of resources that are relevant to BC schools. It is also a great place to go to find local Pro-D opportunities.
Additionally, I found the BC Open Education Librarians group, hosted by BC Campus, (https://open.bccampus.ca/bcoer-librarians/), where librarians meet virtually to share and collaborate. The site also offers resources and provides information on upcoming Pro-D.
Lego Education. 2017, May, 19. A Passion for Lifelong Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RUbHPSLjJ4