I arrived in Seattle last Sunday evening, not entirely sure what to expect. I was attending the Immersion program for the Teacher Track, a week-long series of workshops designed to help librarians become better and more effective teachers. I won't go into great detail about the specific activities, but I will say that we spent a lot of time going over learning theories, learning styles, assessment ideas, leadership concepts, and practicing effective presentation techniques. We had fun, too, spending one evening at an improv theater, and several evenings exploring Seattle with the new friends we were making.
On Friday, when we wrapped up the week with assessments, evaluations, and skits. We all "graduated" from the program, and then went our separate ways. As I sat in the airport shuttle, then the airport, and then the plane, I started thinking about what a unique experience the week had been. Although I appreciated the new ideas and friends that I had connected with, I think that one of the major benefits of the week was that it allowed me time to consciously reflect on my practice as a librarian. During the school year, and even the summer, the pace of the work week (and the weekends) is so intense and crazy that the element of reflection often gets lost in the insanity. Writing posts for this blog does allow me the opportunity to reflect, sort of in bits and pieces, on what I do on a daily basis, but being able to focus, for an entire week, on improving my practice as a teacher and a librarian was truly a special experience. I am inspired by all the librarians that I met, and enthused to come back to work tomorrow and start enacting the new ideas that I gained last week.
Today, I've been thinking about how I can continue to hang onto this attitude of reflection. Obviously, I can't just take a week off once a month, or even once a semester, to think about my job. But I can incorporate this into a smaller, daily practice. Can I take a few moments after a reference interaction or class to really think about the exchange? Or maybe just one morning a week to set goals and think about what I can work on. I'm sure there are ways, and I really hope to work this practice of conscious reflection into my work at Virginia Tech.
So, I leave you with two images. The first one is fairly self-explanatory; the second is a photo of a skit we performed the last day at Immersion. I'm the one in the pink tutu ;) Enjoy!
|Performance piece: "A good teacher"|