Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chapter One Reflection of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Deb Dressler, the Memorial Elementary School principal, started a staff book discussion on Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. I'm loving the book and the discussions. 

The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, 
even (or especially) when it's not going well, 
is the hallmark of the growth mindset. 
This is the mindset that allows people to thrive 
during some of the most challenging times in their lives. (p. 7)

My biggest mantra, thanks to Don Murray, is "Trust the process!" To trust the process ourselves and instill this skill into our students is so important yet incredibly difficult to embrace in our society, especially in the school culture. Even though it's difficult, I believe it's totally possible.

I love, love, love to model the reflection process to students and give them time to set academic, social, and emotional goals as well as to reflect often. Thanks to the gradual release of responsibility, if we guide students to set goals and reflect, they may learn to embrace and automatically practice these important skills beyond school into the real world.

When I started teaching, my students created their portfolios in binders. (While teaching at North Hampton School and Kensington Elementary School, my students conducted Student Led Conferences at the end of the year to share their learning process and current goals.) Now Google Forms, Classroom, and Blogger makes the portfolio/reflection process SO MUCH BETTER AND EASIER! (I don't miss binders at all.) I love that students at Memorial have their own portfolios using Blogger. I hope to assist teachers and students at Memorial to trust the process even more.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dinner with Pam: A Discussion about Learning Commons

Last night I had dinner with my good friend, Pam Harland aka @PamLibrarian. Even though we got together for personal reasons, we couldn’t help but delve into many professional discussions. (Pam wrote The Learning Commons: Seven Simple Steps to Transform Your Library and is a national speaker.)

We discussed many aspects of libraries. As always, Pam continued to blow my mind. Her statement that has resonated with me the most was, “Libraries used to be designed for consumers and now they need to be designed for creators.” YES! That’s why all libraries should be transformed into learning commons. I want to work in a space designed for students (by students, teachers, parents, administration, and librarian) so that they have everything they want and need to learn by creating.

As a classroom teacher, I would have loved my students to have such a space to use.  Now, as a teacher librarian, I want to create a learning commons for students to question, explore, read, write, collaborate, get messy, learn by mistakes, reflect, thus grow.

We intended to take a selfie once we left Martingale Wharf...oops, we forgot!