WOW- I'm happy to report that the media center is rockin'! I have students coming in before school, during breaks and lunch, and after school to hang out, play chess or checkers, check out books- it gets crazy in here sometimes, but in a GOOD way. I love love love having this space filled with happy teenagers. This year our school schedules enrichment/intervention time every Thursday, and our administration is super-supportive of the media program through DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read), and money for new books- YAY!!!
We are coming up on the end of the first nine weeks, and the time has flown by. I've been doing lots of research on Maker Spaces since I want to get an area set up here in the media center. We are getting a new 3-D printer, and have been gathering intel about different models and what is being utilized with success at other schools in our area. I'm busy right now planning for lots more fun coming up- Poetry Cafe, book clubs, contests for Teen Read Week- just another day in high school media world. Lovin' it! :>)
Speaking of lovin' it- each semester I have a Teacher Appreciation Day in the media center. I pick a theme, decorate the media conference room/cyber cafe, and bring lots of food. Teachers dress up and come hang out in the "teachers-only" conference room/cyber cafe to eat and relax. I cover the big windows with paper so students can't peek, and the staff loves it- so do I! It's a lot of work, but loads of fun, and I do love providing a little stress-relief for my teacher friends.
It's been a super-busy start to the new school year! One of the best opportunities I've experienced so far is yesterday's mini-conference/meeting for media folks in regions 7 and 8 in western North Carolina. I presented a session on advocating for your media program, which was lots of fun. But the best part of the day was attending other sessions where I was once again impressed with how gracious librarians are- how quick to share, to laugh, to listen. I left feeling proud to be part of such a supportive, creative group. Librarians ARE awesome...
The start to a new school year, that is. It's been a busy summer for school stuff- we have a new principal and assistant principal, new teachers, new equipment coming to the media center, new laptops for students- lots going on during this "down" time, lol. I've been working on updating our school's web site (I'm the webmaster) in between visits to family and friends and working online to stay current on web tools for my staff and students. I'm very excited about the coming year. We have a new aqua board on our wall, and a 3-D printer is headed our way thanks to Finance Secretary Becky Gresham and Curriculum Specialist Robin Roten's grant-writing skills. We appreciate your work, ladies! When I surveyed students about the media center last school year, they told me again how important a welcoming, comfortable physical space is to them, so I'm also looking at some renovation to the physical media spaces with that in mind. All of that in addition to textbooks and online classes and schedules and...well, you know how it is. I will keep working and thinking and planning for a successful start to a new school year, but for the next two weeks I'm going to spend a little more time doing three of my favorite things- road trips with family, reading good books, and relaxing with the dogs...hope you enjoy the twilight of summer as well!
WOW! It has been a CRAZY few weeks! I've been in charge of some exciting school wide projects lately, and I've been busier than a centipede in a leg-counting contest! Last week we had one of our PBIS incentives for students who have had good attendance- West High's very first ROCKfest. Our acronym ROCK stands for Respect others, be On time, Care for others, and Keep engaged. Students who qualified were allowed to go to the football field fourth period where we had WWHS musical talent, a DJ, a drum circle, a guitar jam, frisbees and football, an art area with bubbles and a mural, pie a teacher, and our very own Lip Sync Battle. It was tons of fun, but definitely took a lot of prep time. Pics are on my home page. What I loved most about the afternoon was how students got an opportunity to see teachers in different roles- from playing drums, singing, playing keyboard (our amazing assistant principal, Mr. Graham!), to lip syncs and pie faces. It was great.
After ROCKfest, I hopped in my little Honda Element and high-tailed it to Raleigh to help judge senior division individual web sites for the NC History Day competition. There certainly are lots of talented students in our state, with very supportive parents! What a great experience!
THEN last night, we had our annual Arts Night Out. It's a showcase for our fine and functional arts students. The media center is overflowing with paintings and sculpture and woodworking projects and parents and students and music. The band and chorus perform. Sometimes we have poets recite their work. The foods classes make cookies. All in all, it's a wonderful experience for our students and community.
Next week we have senior graduation project presentations, and that is so much fun! But for this weekend I plan to hang out with our three dogs and throw balls and make doggie treats. Ahhhh.....Hope yours is stress-free!
Today is going to be a FUN day! I'm heading to Forbush High School in Yadkin county to present a couple of sessions on Alternatives to PowerPoint for their Tech Day for Teachers. Thanks to my oh-so-awesome peeps here at West, I have lots of great information to share that I hope the staff in Yadkin will find helpful. I am always on the lookout for good stuff that I can "borrow" (with permission, of course!) and tweak to assist my students and staff. I love how easy the web makes it for us to locate, learn, and share. Of course, all the teachers I know are just like me- always busy looking for ways to help kids. After all, that IS why we're here. ;>)
I have been working on updating my media web site recently. The changes I've made aren't big ones, but I think it's important to revisit things in our lives regularly to keep them, and us, fresh. A major discovery I have made about myself over the years is that I like change. I find that I am easily bored, and taking a second look at aspects of my life that generally remain constant helps me maintain interest and stay current on what is new and exciting. Hopefully, that carries over into the work that I do with and for my students and staff, as well as my personal life. When I google the definition of fresh, I get, "recently created or experienced and not faded or impaired." Don't we all want to be able to say that of our lives- that they have not become "faded or impaired"? Refreshing...