Sunday, 3 January 2016

Bits and Bobs from 2015

My goal for 2015 was to increase my blogging and I doubled my posts from 2014.  I got used to reflecting on what was going on at work and the process of writing posts has helped me consolidate my thoughts and feelings about whatever I've been up to.

However, I still missed things.  I got busy, I had other things to write about, the rest of my life interfered.  So here's a catchup of the things I didn't have time to write about but wanted to.

I visited some libraries in Melbourne

Yep, confirmation of my geekiness. When I got the opportunity to accompany my husband to a conference in Melbourne (my first overseas trip in 20 years), what did I choose to do on one of the days he was at the conference?  I arranged to visit some school libraries of course!  And I dragged him to a public library, the Library at the Dock, as well.  Oh, and I took him to the launch of 'The 65 Storey Treehouse' and we were the only ones there without young children!  Melbourne is a beautiful city and I had a wonderful time sightseeing AND checking out libraries.

Awesome display from a school library

The innovative Library at the Dock

The very funny Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Taking a Harley Davidson sightseeing tour 

Our school went optional BYO iPad for Years 3-6

Actually, I did start a post about this so I'll return to the draft and have that ready soon.  Watch this space!

I visited some libraries in Auckland 

As the treasurer and a committee member for SLANZA Waikato/BOP I helped arrange for our members to visit some school libraries in Auckland.  We had two tours and I went on the primary school library one.  I was so pleased to visit four lovely librarians/teachers who each oversaw four very different libraries.  I want to talk more about the tour, so I guess that's another post to watch out for this year.

Lego Wall from Sunnyhills Primary

I stood down from SLANZA Waikato/BOP

This was a very difficult decision for me to make as I enjoyed being on the committee and having input into professional development in my region.  However, I had just moderated my second #LibChatNZ, all about managing information overload, and that got me thinking about my work/home life balance.  It was hard to do but everyone was incredibly supportive about me stepping down and I felt better once the decision was made.  If I want to keep implementing new ideas in my library, moderating Twitter chats, speaking at conferences and keeping up a blog then I need to make some room for my family too.

I bought a telescope, a microscope and a sewing machine!

Now I just need to finish getting them ready to lend to our parents.  I hope to do that next week and will no doubt talk about this further in another post.  

I discovered the joy of podcasts

I have a Fitbit which I love and which reminds me on a daily basis that I get substantially less exercise during my work hours than teachers do.  Discovering some great podcasts has helped me increase my walking outside of school hours.  I've been listening to TED Radio Hour, Note to Self, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Dear Hank & John, Explain Things to Me, and No Such Thing as a Fish.

My students made some Kahoot quizzes

Kahoot was fun and easy to learn.  The students loved it and then we shared our book and library quizzes with our senior classes and they loved it too.  More of these are definitely on the agenda for this year.

My amended library extension got approved!

The library extension has been in the works since 2014.  Then there were issues with concrete, followed by budget issues in 2015.  I ended up going back to the drawing board and came up with the considerably cheaper idea to enclose the courtyard in an outdoor screen so it will at least be weatherproof and I can put seating and carpet in there.  Watch out for a before and after post in a couple of months.

I made a summer reading brochure

And it was fun!  I saw the idea on the library listserv and felt it was a great way to share information about the importance of keeping up reading in the holidays, our Book Fridge, the Summer Reading Programme we run in conjunction with Hamilton City Libraries, and our eBooks.

A new junior high school is about to start

Our school started in 2008 and has ended the last few years with over 800 students.  The growth in northern Hamilton is massive, so now a new high school, Rototuna Junior High School, opens this year.  I am fascinated by this because new schools are well placed to implement new educational theories and practices.  I am pleased to say that they are having a library, one that they will share with the senior high school when it opens next year.  They are also implementing co-teaching, learning modules combining curriculum areas, and "Flight Time," which allows students to explore their interests.  I am keen to see these ideas in action.  They employed our wonderful Assistant Principal and several of our lovely teachers so I am already impressed with their good taste.

My youngest son will start there in February so I have an insider to feed me information!   The school is BYOD so we've just bought our son a Chromebook, which is a great opportunity for me to have a play with one!  Bonus!!

Have a great holiday everyone.  I hope you read some good books, put your feet up and relax.  I am working my way through all the chocolate in the house, but as penance I've also gone up the Hakarimata Summit Track.  This is a 335 metre climb up 1,349 steps.  A friend took me up, waiting patiently during my many rest stops.  I provided much amusement to my family for the next five days as I 'walked' around the house like a robot.  Ouch, my poor calf muscles weren't happy!

No comments:

Post a Comment