Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dynamic Landscapes or Bust!

Day one at Dynamic Landscapes has been a thrill.  Without the pressure to present, I've been able to enjoy connecting with my peers and all-valuable Professional Learning Network, take lots of notes, do copious amounts of tweeting (you rock #vted), and enjoy lingering in conversation and camaraderie.

Tomorrow, with a closing keynote to deliver, is another can of worms all-together.  My colleagues across Vermont are doing amazing, innovative, and outrageously creative learning with their students.  As a whole, they sure have set the bar high.  I console myself by thinking, okay Meg, you are not being asked to jump over the bar, but simply to tell your truth, your story.  

My truth and my story in inexplicably intertwined with that of my students. I am delighted to share the stage with eight of my students, who have proven to me by signing on for this that indeed, you can't have brave without scared (thank you Linda Urban for that quote, via Kate Messner). These kids are my heroes.  They didn't need a twitter intervention, a la The Daring Librarian (like yours truly did) or convincing.  They know themselves in a confident way that I find refreshing and enlightening.

My take-aways from today at Dynamic Landscapes (thank you Shannon Walter's for always posing that question) are the feeling of support from a network of dedicated teacher-librarians, educators, technology specialists, and more.  I especially loved Judy Kaplan's presentation of embedded librarianship, a model that I find empowering and full of promise. This kind of school librarianship is highly customizable, attuned to local needs, fueled by passion and curiosity.  Her message to not just be the change, but be the pearl, is unique and filled with Judy's signature style of humor and spot-on metaphor.  Whereas she considers teacher librarians as the crown jewels in a school, rather than be the diamonds, emeralds, or the showy rubies, that we are the pearls, created by grit and irritation  added onto layer by layer, adding value and worth every step of the way.  

Just might have to wear my pearls tomorrow for good luck.