There is a wall in our Learning Commons with the great quote from Kid Principal "Don't Forget to be Awesome". It is one of the first things you see when you walk in and we like to highlight awesome student work on this wall, in the four frames and using a digital display (iPad) playing our "Guide to being Awesome". We recently got new digital displays in the forms of television screens in the main hall and cafeteria. They play this same guide, in a larger format, and kids cannot wait to see who will make the wall and are eager to see themselves and friends on this wall. I have had students ask me how I decide who makes the wall. My answer: the awesome ones, doing something awesome. What is that? I can't define it for kids. I won't. That is what makes it so awesome.
This summer I have had some great professional reads including "Leading for the School Librarian", "Social Leadia", "Disrupting Thinking", "Teach Like a Pirate" and "Learn Like a Pirate", "Energy Bus" and "Innovators Mindset." They were some AWESOME books, but what is so amazing is that each asked me to stretch myself. To reconsider old practices and set new goals. I am lucky. As the Media Resource Specialist in one of the greatest districts (not that I am biased), I have AMPLE opportunity to spur students to innovate. I am encouraged by my supportive administration to pursue innovative ideas in the Learning Commons. I am no longer afraid to ask "Can I......" but look for new ways to meet the needs of students and staff with the things I do. So how can I change to become better, to ask myself to do something awesome and amazing?
First I reflected on my mission statement (did it need to be updated or changed in any way). My mission is to collaborate, empower learners, help explorers (our school mascot is the Explorer so all students and staff are explorers), encourage readers. It is to be kind, be focused, be organized, think smart, be smart and be there for a reason.
Then I used that vision to write my goals (text version) for the school year and while I tried to be realistic I also strived to be innovative. To be brave, stretch myself and ask my students and staff to stretch with me. One of my greatest goals for the school year is one our Bright Bytes data shows our school needs to work on: strengthening teacher use of the 4Cs. I want to encourage teachers to collaborate with other classrooms using technology, to create and share with authentic audiences and to seek out experts and simply use technology to take student learning beyond the walls of their classroom. George Couros said "Isolation is a choice educators make. You are not the best person to teach your students about space. An astronaut is." He is right and I believe I am at my school to facilitate, empower and encourage teachers to break out from that isolation.
I know that I have high expectations for not only myself, but my students and staff.....but I also know we can reach for these. I believe that throughout the school year, we will seek change and take advantage of opportunities to grow, learn and do amazing awesome things for our students.