What are you doing with your summer?
Posted by lpearle on 24 July 2015
I’ve already posted my early-summer PD schedule and a few “if only…” options. Then I read this on Twitter:
and Wendy posted about her Walden experience.
Both put me in mind of a friend (a librarian friend) who worked in a school that gave out summer sabbatical travel/learning grants. No librarian had ever gotten one, because why do we need to travel/learn? She applied and got a grant to learn to paint in Tuscany. The rationale? She was a very linear learner and thinker, not at all artistic. Learning to paint would be out of her comfort zone. Even more out of that comfort zone would be living and learning in a language she didn’t know. Why was this important? Because she was very comfortable (as I suspect most librarians are) doing research and speaking the language of information fluency/skills, etc.. Putting herself in those uncomfortable shoes would mean she could, for a few weeks, walk in her students’ steps as they began to learn the process of finding, evaluating and interpreting information while they did research. She argued, convincingly, that her experience would make her more empathetic to them and help her be a better librarian.
I’ve never worked in a school that’s had that kind of program (or, if they did, I wasn’t eligible) but it’s something to consider for next year, even if it’s out of my own pocket (as Doug says, it’s good to have skin in the game). Imagine how your program could change and improve if you did the same.