Saturday, February 28, 2009

Balance




I am feeling proud of myself. I think I've done a good job with the uni work I have completed this week. I've got through the work I had decided to do, and I think the quality of my work is good.

But what have I sacrificed along the way? I feel a bit like I've been on crash diet. You know how you can stick it out for a limited amount of time, but there's no way you could keep it up for life? Well that's how I feel about the amount of time and effort I have put into my uni work this week. There's no way I could keep it up for life! I'm tired. My house looks like a bomb site. I haven't taken the time to exercise or meditate. Even my sex life has suffered!

What I'm looking for here is balance. A way to spend enough time on my academic work to be proud of my results, without jeopardising my health and general well-being. I don't want to be told that my problem is time-management! I don't want to feel inadequate by comparing myself to other students who have longer work hours or a more demanding life situation and still get their work done! I just want to do the best I can being me.

Now I'm off to bed to start practising what I'm preaching...maybe I'll just check the forums first...

Friday, February 27, 2009

There's a new superhero in town!

One of the main purposes of this blog is to explore my ideas on the role of the teacher/librarian in a school. Well, after only one week of study I have come to this conclusion: Move Over Wonder Woman! There's a new superhero in town - The Amazing and Multi-Talented Teacher Librarian!
She is simultaneously across all aspects of the curriculum and knows how to access the most current and applicable resources for all topics. Her collection is well-organised, attractive, up-to-date and easily utilised. She acquires new and varied resources as they are needed. The school library website is a work of art - allowing access from home to the online catalogue, a variety of reference tools and links to relevant websites. The school library itself is a welcoming, happy and stimulating environment with an ever-changing display of student's work. "Amazing" has a respectful and warm cooperative relationship with the school's teaching staff. She regularly meets with teachers across all stages and subject areas to collaboratively plan resourced based learning. She is an admired and respected leader within the school, and is responsible for developing the school into the information literate community it is today. She enjoys recreational reading (especially children's literature) and shares this love with her students by reading aloud and promoting award winning literature and Book Week. I'm sure there are other things too...
Is this Amazing TL a real person? Is she human? Is it even possible for her to exist?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today I'm suffering a bit from "mother's guilt". I'm working very hard to stay on track with the work required for uni. There's a lot of reading and a lot of detailed questions to consider. There's an expectation that I'm applying critical thinking skills to everything I'm reading and all the issues I'm supposed to be analysing. Today is Thursday, and I'm probably almost up to date with the weekly expectations for one of the two subjects that I'm studying this semester. The other one I did some preliminary work on before the semester started, but I haven't even looked at yet this week! On top of the regular weekly work, I have an assignment for each due within 8 weeks. (Less than 5 weeks for the first one!) It's best that I don't even mention that I have two more assignments (one for each subject) a few weeks later.
So...I have a lot of work to do...which means that I'm not paying as much attention to my children as usual.
Now my children aren't babies, they're 8 and 10, but they do like to tell me about their days at school and what they want for their birthdays and what girls they know that they're dancing against at the next eisteddfod...And they get bored (suggestions of doing homework or tidying their rooms don't seem to help!) and they want me to do stuff with them.
I know I have to make the most of this last golden age before the teenage angst and grunting begins, but it's so hard to make any more time appear! I'm only one week into my course, already my TV viewing and fiction reading has succumbed, also the housework doesn't seem up to its usual standard! Where else will I steal the time from?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Insights - hard to come by



So far, I'm having a lot of trouble thinking deeply about the issues that I'm supposed to be grappling with in regard to teacher librarianship. I'm finding that there is such a large volume of information provided with my course, my first priority is simply to "get through" all the required reading.

Being aware of the many demands on my time, I'm trying to be quite task-oriented in my approach to study. So after reading, I am focusing on answering the questions posed in the study material. I'm finding even this level of work challenging, timewise.

But the real work of learning; the wondering, puzzling, "a-ha!" moments, creation of new ideas, posing of new questions etc hasn't really been happening yet. Snatching small pockets of time here and there to work doesn't appear to be conducive to immersing myself fully in what I am studying.

I can already see the value in blogging: even if I have no particular insights when I start, the process of writing down whatever thoughts I do have helps. I may even have an insight by the end of the post!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finding a needle in a haystack.

Loving this description by Matthew Koll of the approaches to finding information on the Internet:

A known needle in a known haystack
A known needle in an unknown haystack
An unknown needle in an unknown haystack
Any needle in a haystack
The sharpest needle in a haystack
Most of the sharpest needles in a haystack
All the needles in a haystack
Affirmation of no needles in the haystack
Things like needles in any haystack
Let me know whenever a new needle shows up
Where are the haystacks?
Needles, haystacks - whatever (Koll, 1999)

I'd like to add my usual feelings when searching:

Hooray - I found a needle!

As I learn more, I'd like to progress to the stage where I can say:

Not only did I find just the needle I was looking for, I've found several others that are just as sharp and maybe even more useful!

Koll's little poem is sooooo clever and funny, but demonstrates that knowing exactly what you are looking for, and where you expect to find it, is so important.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Information Overload



This is how a person who hasn't studied in over 15 years feels when attending a residential school for her MEd!


Who knew there was so much to know?


How is it that there are so many possibly relevant documents to sift through and read?


Will I ever read for pleasure again???