Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Have you ever been a coach? You always have such upbeat suggestions. . . .

Posted on: October 23, 2009

Someone asked me that today.   I have never  been a coach. Like many media specialists these days, it’s easy to whine now and then.   We get frustrated with policies, declining budgets, limited time, NCLB, and a multitude of daily challenges.

There’s been a fair amount of discussion (and whining) lately about the Valenza/Johnson article Things that Keep us Up in the Night in the Oct.  School Library Journal. But, for the most part I try to think positively about the things we are able to do in our jobs and the freedom or flexibility that we have.

How can we  remain upbeat and positive?

  • Stay  involved and do the things you can control.
  • Keep a “happy file” or list of positive stuff.
  • Learn something new and feel proud of it.    Many web 2.0 tools take only minutes. The newest addition to my collection is Doodle.  What a handy little tool.
  • Work with the living and those who want to collaborate; there’s always someone out there who needs our  help and expertise or someone who also wants to try something new.   I had a great time showing a 3d grade teacher  how her students could use Wordle as a “book report” option.  She got excited.  We’ll put  student Wordles on the school’s media center web site.
  • Step away from the big issues for a while; one of the nice things about being a media specialist is that there are lot of opportunities for variety and still plenty of little tasks that need to be done.  Little tasks will take your mind off the stuff that drives you nuts.  Clean out your electronic or  filing system.  Throw out some old books or up date the web site. Feel proud of what you accomplished!
  • Take on a big project that needs to be done.
  • Make lemonade from lemons.   For most problems there are opportunities.   I’ve noticed that our district’s reading and math specialists make a nice team; I’ve also noticed that they do some things I also do and maybe even some things I’d just as soon be doing, it’s in their job description, not mine.   The lemonade? We share many similarities in our job challenges.  We all  work with teachers so they can help students succeed; like me, they have to be out and about talking to people in order to do their jobs.  Like media specialists, they work with data and have to stay on top of new technologies.   I help them with some things, they help me with others. We have have offered staff development together and plan to do more.

We all have issues to deal with, but there are also opportunities.    Get Energized and Recharged. Share, discuss and learn with others.

The next session of Issues and Opportunities for Media Specialists begins January 25, 2010.    Join our  discussion.

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