Friday, February 3, 2012

What keeps me up at night?

Other than what I discussed last week. This was a heavy week, tt's everything we talked about in class, and more. The article Things That Keep Us Up at Night, by Joyce Kasman Valenza and Doug Johnson resonated the most with me, it got me thinking about what really keeps me up at night.

Technology should be one to one, not one to twenty-five
Technology, the Internet, smartphones, etc., they have all become ubiquitous and accepted as the standard of education, but we don't think about the economic implications and the haves and have nots. I took a class last semester called Videogames, Learning and Class Design. I loved the basic premise of the class, but I was always annoyed with the idea that we could have 1 to 1 technology for the students. Who is providing this? The truth is, students are bringing their own technology and we ban them from class, rather than utilizing them for their educational benefits. But what about the students who don't have these things? There's no good answer, because it always comes back to money. It will take a public school to set the standard for others to follow.

We need to be connected, but not just electronically
Yes, we need to create "Personal or Professional Learning Networks" electronically, via things like Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging, and Twitter, but we shouldn't overlook the  face to face networks we need to create, especially with local leaders, administrators, unions, teachers, etc. Yes, we should keep up with new practices, but if it's the choice between maintaining a blog and chairing a committee at the school, I think the answer is obvious (sleep two hours less a night, right?). Building these interpersonal face-to-face connections are how we help schools build respect and understanding for our profession.

We need to stand up for ourselves and not be afraid to try new things
I got this specifically from the articles Moving from Rote to Inquiry, A District's Journey to Inquiry, and How Does a Failing School Stop Failing, making educational progress requires that we try new things, whether they're painful or not. In A District's Journey to Inquiry, they talked about how there was a lot of opposition and dislike of their programs initially, but they also had a lot of good response, and they created bonds that made their jobs easier and the implementation more effective in the long run. Sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and do something new, even if not everyone is on board with it.

"Never, never, never, give up" (Winston Churchill)
I know I've said this before (ad nauseum), but I get this from people all the time (friends, family, school colleagues), why would I even want to try? How can you possible help students when you maybe see them for 50 minutes? Why would you want to enter the world of education with all its problems and legislation pushing for assessment? I don't mean to sound flippant, but I think those kinds of questions are bull crap. Seriously. Since when have we become a society of defeatists? "Oh, it loks a bit too hard, why should you even try?" Nothing bothers me more than people who have settled for the bottom rung because they tried to climb once and fell. Would we accept this attitude from our children, heck no! So why do we accept it from ourselves?

Overall, I think the entire idea of being a school librarian keeps me up at night, but I think that also means that I have an emotional and passionate commitment and care for my chosen profession; when I stop staying up at nights, maybe that's when I should be worried.


  1. You're right - these are two heavy weeks of reading (in terms of quantity and content). Lucky us that we are going to Julie's library tomorrow so we can all get a dose of real-world librarianship. :)

  2. I really liked what you had to say about digital/tech networking and connection vs. face-to-face encounters. I see Facebook, Twitter, etc. as excuses to replace this one-on-one time that really, in the end, makes a more substantial and powerful network and it worries me. Why in heck are we "tweeting' people who are literally down the hall from us? Get up and go talk to them! :)

  3. Totally with you about face to face networks. Let's make sure we don't lose our ability to communicate well in person!


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