This past school year has been a learning experience. Leaving NYC DOE last year and entering the Westchester County school system was a gateway to better understanding my strengths. I was able to bring in many different authors for author visits,but it took quite a bit of persuasion and conversation getting this approved. While many educators understand what a future ready school library looks like, not all administrators do, unfortunately. However, you can see for yourself how inspired the children are bu author visits as it helps them better understand the writing process and appreciate reading!
I had a chance to hear CeCe Bell, author of El Deafo, speak and detail her life experiences at a NYC School Library Exploratorium. She values school librarians, as do many authors, and is a reminder of why we do what we do. El Deafo is her true story of dealing with a hearing disability in school. This was particularly empowering as I had two similar students gain cofidence by this book.
I never realized how much professional development I received as a NYC teacher. NYC DOE invests heavily in their teachers and I always took it for granted believing it was the status quo of all school systems.
While I have had to find webinars and read a lot, being a Microsoft Innovative Educator has been a tremendous asset. Twice a month Microsoft provides live Skype online PDs. If you miss them, they are also available as a recording. These webinars are led by Microsoft leaders and by teachers in the field that have been creative in their teaching practice with the use of technology.
Additionally, partnering with Microsoft has helped me grow as a leader in ways I never would have dreamed off. They have quickly made me comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have been encouraged to present professional development on e-Portfolios not only on a local level, but also at a state and national level. This year I presented at the NYLA (New York Library Association) Annual Conference, the AASL (American Association of School Libraries) Conference, two PD sessions for NYC DOE school library meetings, one for SWBOCES Exploratorium and an Ignite session at the MIE Annual Conference.
Lastly, Microsoft has fostered collaboration and communication witheducators all over the world. A panel session of best lessons was held and teachers were inspired by each other. This gave new energy and ideas for all participants. Thank you Microsoft for all you do in supporting education!!!