#EduBlogs Club Week 4: An Image

Write a post that includes an image…

I’ve been pondering this prompt all week and purposely waited until Friday to post. I love to share images and am active on Twitter and Instagram, sharing images of my students and all the wonderful things that happen on our campus. In today’s fast-paced visually-overwhelming age, a good image is necessary to grab the attention of those reading/looking at your post. Knowing this, I’ve been waiting to post until I had an image I really wanted to run with.

I found my image last night.

If you are in the librarian or education field, you need to read the blog The Adventures of Library Girl. This blog is managed by Jennifer LaGarde @jenniferlagarde and she is an amazing librarian in North Carolina! I have enjoyed her blog for a long time and encourage anyone interested to take a look.

She tweeted out an image yesterday and it really struck me. It is timely, informative, and something I want all my students to see and absorb….”Tips for Spotting Fake News.” It’s pretty awesome right?!



If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is maybe worth a million. If everyone would follow these tips, think of the change that would occur in social media and research. It would be astounding and librarians around the world would rejoice. And look at that pretty Creative Commons license too…something else I want my students to recognize and understand how to use.

So, thank you Ms. Lagarde for taking the time to create a fantastic image that has widespread implication and can be so useful for those of us who work with young people. And thank you also for helping me create my Edublog post this week. 🙂

#Edublogs Club: Week 3 (tardy): Leadership

How did last week get away from me? Well, however that happened, I certainly don’t want to miss out on sharing my thoughts on this week’s blog topic – Leadership.

As of this year, my 14th year in education, I have worked in three different districts, on four different campuses, in three different levels, and for six different principals. I have had a wide variety of experiences during those years that I treasure and hold close to my heart, as well as some experiences I choose not to dwell on. I have worked for amazing leaders and those I would not choose to work with in the future if I had the choice. What I have learned during that time is that as a classroom teacher, I can make the classroom, and a strong principal, a leader, can make the building.

Image credit: Heather Lister, Plano ISD Library Expo 2016


I first saw the above image when I had the pleasure of attending the Plano ISD Library Expo in October 2016. The keynote speaker that day was Heather Lister (@LibrarianLister). She used this image in her presentation and it resonated with me thinking about the bosses and leaders I have worked with in the past. One person stands out to me the most: Laura Springer. Springer (we all call her Springer) is the principal of Coppell Middle School East in Coppell ISD where I was a 6th grade classroom teacher for six years. The five years I worked with her building were absolutely amazing. She was the epitome of a leader. She arrived on our campus following a principal who had been ill and wasn’t able to fulfill her duties for health reasons. Springer brought a wave of new energy, positivity, and love (yes, love), into the building. The staff soon became a close knit family and when I left there and moved into my first librarian position on another campus, I balled like a baby in front of them all. True story.

This picture I saw in Heather’s presentation hit me hard because I have worked with bosses who take on the qualities of the figure in the top half of the image; those who stand away from us and hand out directives. They were disconnected and far from us in “the trenches” and I didn’t feel inspired and invigorated to do more than I was doing. Springer was the leader in the front in the bottom half of the picture. She was right there with us, in the halls with students, taking up for us in meetings (even when she received the backlash), putting herself out front to go alongside us, not above or behind us, caring about us and our families on a personal level. I found myself working harder than I had ever worked, but being happier than I ever had been in my professional life before. I looked forward to going to work, and not only because of my students (although they were always a huge part of that), but because I felt like I was going to work to see my other family and who doesn’t want that feeling?!

Working for a principal like Laura Springer has jaded me a bit! I do expect my leaders to have those qualities now that I have seen what a true leader can do for a building. And I also can expect that same standard for myself too. When I have leadership roles on my campus, I want to display that same leadership quality – someone who is willing to get out in front and emulate what I would want from my teammates. We are all better together!

#Edublogs Club Week 2: My Space

I do have to say, I really love my work space. I have an office, but I don’t spend much time in it. I prefer to be out in the library where I can interact with students and teachers who are using the library. When I need to do work that requires my complete attention or a quiet space, then I’ll use my office. I have recorded quite a few screencasts in there already this year!

Here’s my circulation desk workspace. I’ve got everything I need right here! And I have a great view of the library too. As you can see, my main method of organization is sticky notes. I love the feeling of finishing a task and throwing my sticky note away. And having that visual reminder staring at me to finish a job is just what I need to keep me focused.

And a pano view of the whole space! It’s a wonderful space and I have plenty of ideas to make it even better for students! Exciting things are coming!

We have a great library at AHS!


Here’s the view of my other desk in my office. (And yes, I still have Christmas wrapping paper there in the corner! No judgement.) Other important things to note about my office…my graduation robe that doubles as Harry Potter dress robes (Yes, I’ve worn these this year), my Griffyndor scarf, and my beloved Life is Good plaque. Also note the boxes of ARCs in the corner. I love to use those as giveaways and incentives for students. And they love it too!

I have a great workspace, but the best part of my space is of course the students who use it. When I have a buzzing library with students choosing books, using the Makerspace resources, enjoying their time, that’s when I am most excited.

#EdublogsClub Week 1: Goals


I decided to start 2017 off with a new challenge…a blogging challenge! I want to get better at posting consistently and Edublogs started a weekly blogging challenge just when I needed it! I’m hopeful that it helps me making writing a more regular part of my week and that I can do a better job of reflecting what wonderful things are happening in our school and in our library.

To begin with, this is not my first blog. I have tried blogging a number of times over the past 5 or so years. My most successful attempt was in graduate school when we were required to blog. Since I was in library school, it was great because I was blogging about books I was reading for my class and I was happy! This blog challenge will stretch my writing to include lots of different topics.

I read many other blogs, but none on a regular basis. I tend to go to blogs when I need them, but there are many that I enjoy reading. I really enjoy reading Mrs. Readerpants and was just checking out her new podcasts today. My sweet friend Cynthia runs a fantastic blog at Librarian in Cute Shoes that was a wonderful resource when I was an elementary school librarian. I really enjoy reading Nerdy Book Club also. Always such fantastic book suggestions. Shannon Miller has an amazing blog called The Library Voice that I enjoy reading for more “back office” library information. To keep up with these, I do follow them all through Feedly so I can see when a new post is shared, but often I just visit the sites when I think of them. Maybe this blogging exercise will help keep it in the forefront of my mind and I’ll make more of an effort to check those sites more frequently.

I do have some goals for myself during this blogging challenge. My main goal is: consistency. As I’ve said, I want to make blogging on a regular basis just part of what I do during the week. Wonderful things happen at AHS every day and I want to share those things. I use Twitter for that also, but blogging will give me a platform to go a little further in depth. I also want this blog to be a record of the library’s school year. A place to go back and read about what worked and what didn’t.

No better time to begin then now! Happy New Year!