What are your key takeaways, learning and direction after all this exploration?
Phase two was a time of learning, researching, and personal growth. It gave me the opportunity to communicate freely where I am at now, and where I hope to be in the future. I think a consistent theme throughout my phase two blog posts has been “I am here, learning and growing, but if it weren’t for a pandemic, I would be at a different point in my journey”. While this is still true, I think I need to shift my focus a tad, and instead stay in the mindset of “What can I do and where can I go from here, despite the circumstances I am in”.
What are the new avenues for development in your personal and professional practice?
A goal I have is to continue on my journey to implement and incorporate more technology into my teaching practice. I know I still have a long way to go in this respect, as I have spent a lot of time being reluctant to change. I have always felt more comfortable and confident using things like pen and paper, and physical books. Technology can fail, but tangible things like paper have yet to do me wrong. I do know that technology can enhance my teaching, so this is an area I would like to continue to push myself in. I would like to start with incorporating e-readers into my practice, as I can see them helping to provide a wider range of books that I may not already have in my library.
What are you going to take with you, moving forward from your own explorations and also from the explorations of others in this class?
Yet another area of growth I see myself working through is to start the process of weeding in my library. It has been years since it has been weeded, so I know this will be a huge undertaking. I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea of it, as this is all new to me, but I know my library will become a condensed and more useless version of itself when that is done. I have gathered a few ideas from my classmates in this respect, and I think I will be give first priority to the teachers at my school to choose from the weeded books. After this, I will place a “Free Books” table outside of my library so that the students will have access to free books of their choosing. Lastly, before I discard of them completely, I will check to see if there are any relevant books remaining, and offer them up to my community.
If you could pick just one topic from Phase 2 that resonated with you, which is it and why?
The topic that resonated with me the most from phase two was fostering a love of reading. I hope to continue to foster a love of reading at my school. In my first inquiry blog post (https://janelleraeth.wordpress.com/2020/10/11/inquiry-blog-post-1/) I mentioned a video titled Fostering a LOVE for READING in your Children by THE OGLESBY OHANA. In the video she carefully outlines some steps you can take to be able to foster a love of reading in children. These steps are very well applicable to the classroom, as well as my position as a TL.
Step one: STRUING: Make books accessible to children, leave them along their path so they can grab them when they want to read.
Step two: MAKE READING COMFORTABLE: Get pillows, blankets, couches, to make reading comfortable for them. Take them outside. Make the energy gentle and accepting.
Step three: READ TO THEM AND READ WITH THEM: Reading becomes special when they foster relationships. Make the time to reading aloud with your students. Don’t be afraid to stop reading to explain things, to laugh, and make connection points.
Step four: LET THEM PICK OUT THE BOOKS: Let them read the books they want to read, because at least they’re reading (if it is appropriate). Let them know they have a voice in their reading.
Step five: LET BOOKS BE THE ANSWER: Instead of going straight to your phone, get them to look it up in the books they have on hand or a dictionary.
THE OGLESBY OHANA. “Fostering a LOVE for READING in Your Children.” Youtube, 2020, youtu.be/h4B0n4IDbfI.
The Island TL