Spring Break 2019

Spring Break 2019

1st Day of Spring Break

Already, I have cleared, organized, cleaned, laundered and started reading the Hunger Games. This morning, I went to the Schimelpfenig library to return a book. I was returning Johnny Tremain: A Story of Boston in Revolt. I read the first few chapters, knowing all of its merits. It was strongly recommended by a friend, and it is a Newberry Medal winner. Still, I turned it in. I’ve read multiple blogs that say if you don’t love a book, don’t force yourself to read it. Put it down and pick up something you do love. So, that’s what I did. I regret nothing.

Flashcards and the word “toggle”

I saw it. I saw the word toggle for, to my knowledge, the first time. I was turning in my aforementioned Johnny Tremain book in the Plano automated system. I have returned so many books via this method, but had never noticed “Toggle languages” before. I have studied this word in my quizlet flashcards but was excited to see the actual word in front of me. I “toggled” and flipped through Spanish and Mandarin. I still used English.

Validation

After I checked out a bunch of 2×2 books, I took my little Alana to meet up with an old friend from High School, Criselda, at restaurant in a place called “Legacy West.” We updated each other about the ages of our kids and shared stories about life with kids and people around us. I told her about my starting graduate school and she very quickly said, “Veni, I can see those two professions fitting who you are.” Of course, she is referring to my current position as a choir director, and the position I will seek in several years, school librarian. I don’t feel like I need validation, but it is nice coming from someone you trust and respect.

Later that week….

After some serious nebulizer treatment for Alana’s cough and cold, we went to our first library event. “Rhyme Time” is a library offering where babies 0-24 months can be exposed to “songs, nursery rhymes and books” for early exposure to language. It was amazing. As soon as it started, I had a hard time not crying because I was so moved by the sweetness of it all. At the end of the event, the staff strongly encouraged us to fill out a feedback card. How much better would we be as teachers if we constantly asked our audience for feedback at the end of a lesson? After a 30 minute lesson, I definitely do not ask, “what did you like?,” “what can you start using at home immediately?,” or “what could the teacher do better” for feedback. I consistently have students complete exit cards asking what the learner has learned. Occasional exit cards, however, are very different from chronic feedback. What would my choir classroom if I constantly asked for feedback about the lesson?

We’ve been studying equity in our INFO 5001 course and this is it. The library is the most equitable place I know. The staff leading “Rhyme Time” were engaging, thoughful, kind and most of all, focused on modeling what type of interactions parents can be having with their kids. 

How does this relate to my being a future librarian? It makes me think of how I would offer services to the community I serve. How can I serve parents, students? More specifically, how can the library at which I work, serve parents and students who do not have resources? Even more, what resources can I help provide for families who do not have resources?

The week ended with time outside with little Alana, planting vegetables, reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy, napping and cleaning. Sunday night, I pulled out the handout from “Rhyme Time” and showed Mark, my husband what we learned that week. While I did not make it to a beach (which I love), or skiing (don’t know how), I feel rested, excited to teach and happy that I rested through learning.