Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A good meeting? Really?

I had a wonderful meeting today. I like meetings when they actually accomplish something and greatly dislike them when they don't. I met with a wonderfully creative group of teachers and an administrator about Teen Read Week. I am working to make it a real event at my school and am getting the support of the English Department.

Going into the meeting, I had a sense of what I wanted to do. And they made it that much better. Still a bunch of planning that needs to be done, but we got a good jump on things.

It looks to be a week full of activities. Which is as it should be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Banned Books Week

It seemed important this year to do something for Banned Books Week in my library given that one of the candidates for the vice-presidency of the United States wanted to ban books. Loyal readers will note that I rarely infuse my politics on this blog, but this is not about politics. This is about wanting to force your opinion on others by removing their ability to research and to read and to decide for themselves.

This issue goes beyond conservative and liberal, beyond Republican and Democrat. I think this goes to the very core of what it means to be an American and to believe in the principles on which this country was founded.

What am I going to do? Not a lot really. I have pulled about 40 books from the collection and put them on display. I will then use the announcing system to let students know that books adults don't want them to read are now on display in the library. I will then stand out of the way.

By the way, there is actually a group on Facebook called "I Read a Book Sarah Palin Wanted Banned from the Wasilla Public Library."

Ubuntu @ the Library

I have so been there with technology!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prangstgrup Library Musical - Reading on a Dream PRANK!!

If I could sing that good, I might give it a shot!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thank those who support you!

I had the opportunity to speak at the Fresno Unified School District Board meeting last night. A group of FUSD TLs were there to thank the school board for providing increased funding for our libraries. Since some have asked, I said this:

My name is Tom Nixon and I am the Teacher Librarian at Tehipite Middle School. I am also the Northern Section Region 3 representative for the California School Library Association. This past weekend I was at a board meeting for that organization and I had the pleasure to tell them that:

In Fresno Unified, teacher librarians are valued for their expertise and are supported by the district administration;

In Fresno Unified, the school board and the superintendent understand that there is a research connection that shows that students with higher test scores come from schools with strong library programs;

In Fresno Unified, the school board and the superintendent get the strong connection between literacy, successful library programs, and having credentialed teacher librarians in charge of those programs;

In Fresno Unified, unlike other parts of the state, that funding for libraries and teacher librarians is steady and that it is a priority of the school board and the superintendent.

This does not happen by accident. Clearly, it is due to the work of the board, of Mr. Hanson, and of our director of school libraries, Karen Tozlian.

On behalf of my colleagues, I thank you for your hard work and for your continued support.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

On the road again...

I am sitting in a hotel room in Davis, California. I am here for the fall retreat of the California School Library Association's Northern Section Board. As I no doubt wrote elsewhere, I am one of the Region 3 representatives for CSLA's Northern Section.

But what about your class that you are teaching?

I'm glad you asked that question. The nice thing about teaching an online course is that I can do it from anywhere. As a matter of fact, I emailed off today's assignment this morning (which is duplicated inside Moodle, the course management system). I also answered four emails from students, posted some posts in the forums, and generally made my presence known.

I greatly appreciate my day job, but I also appreciate being both a student and an instructor at Fresno Pacific University. For me, it's the right place at the right time in my life.

And how was your day?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Williams Settlement

I am sitting here waiting for the Williams folks to arrive. And, no, I am not blogging during my work hours! I am here early.

For those who do not know about the Williams Settlement, this requires all schools to have a textbook for each student that they can take home. Sounds revolutionary, I know, but there were schools where this was not happening. They would assign one classroom set to a teacher and the teacher would use that set all day. Students would not be able to take a book home.

Instead of fighting what was sure to be a losing battle, the State of California settled. It is now my job to make sure that all of the students at my school have textbooks in all core areas that they can take home.

While it does add more to my job, it is doable. That being sa....

...That being said they just showed up.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Teaching again...

I am teaching another class for Fresno Pacific University. As loyal readers recall, I taught one this spring. In point of fact, I will be teaching the same course again because they are starting a new cohort for the online Teacher Librarian Services Credential.

If this course is anything like my last group of students, I should enjoy the experience. We are still working at pulling the cohort together.