Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday: An Open Window

an open window
moon glow spills silver in
summer living room
pull you close
my night spoon
rise and fall of breath
lulls me asleep
my dreams
dance through
an open window

What do they say one door closes and another opens? This is the last week for Poetry Thursday. Liz and Dana have done a fabulous job. They say another poetry place is coming. I hope so. It has been such a joy to write weekly and be connected with writers.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Create a Connection: "Northwest... Take Me Away"

I have been participating in the monthly swap over at Create a Connection. Always a fun time. This month was about where in the world you would like to go. Two places stand out: Scotland and Italy. My swap partner took it from there. I received this in the mail on Saturday:

What a delight to get. I have always wanted that cd and have always put off buying it. So perfect. Then the two magazines about Scotland? Didn't realize they existed. They are a welcome break from writing for the National Boards. Thank you Tanaya, for spoiling me.

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower
Chinese Garden, Portland, OR
Summer 2007

up from muddy pond
serene summer existence

Friday, August 24, 2007

One Deep Breath: Daybreak

dawn at Hagerman, ID, July 2007

golden orb peeks out
disaster found beauty
fires contained
daybreak coffee
outside bird songs, house sleep sounds
meditation time

For more on the stillness of morning, check out One Deep Breath.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
My obsession is journals. I love buying them. I just bought one yesterday to “record my thoughts, experiences, and feelings” as I go through the national boards for teaching. I wonder if I will consistently write.

You see, that is my problem, diary. I start with good intentions and then? Well, then, I forget or I am tired or I write about it on my blog.

I do not dare go to Powell’s City of Books. It is all over if I walk near the journal section. I mean, last June, I bought two purse-sized journals. Now I ask you how many purse-sized journals do I need in my purse at one time? Thankfully, I sent one to my niece. She writes in a journal. Maybe she will need one for her purse.

I have a journal for book ideas, a journal to list the books I have read, a gratitude journal, the purse journal, the cool words notebook, and I just upgrade my calendar to a larger size so I could put journal notes in it. I participated in a journal swap last spring. I write original haiku in that journal. Of course, it is not up to date.

What should I do diary? Any thoughts? I wish I could buy a quill like Rita Skeeter so that my journals would be up to date.

Obsessed Journal Collector

What do others write in their diary? Go to Sunday Scribblings.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thoughtful Thursday: Can a School Survive Without a Full Time Librarian?

I joined ALA (American Library Association) in the spring because I am going to the AASL(American Association of School Libraries) conference in the fall. ALA sends me emails almost weekly updating current events throughout the country.

This is a current event I did not want to see “Spokane schools halve K–8 librarians’ hours“. This is the second largest district in the state. My state. My district(Evergreen Public Schools) is among the largest in the state as well.

How can that be? How can Spokane Public Schools decide to cut the teacher librarian positions to half time at elementary? How can they decide that libraries are not worth maintaining in the district budget? How can a they ignore the data and research that supports that a strong library program supports student achievement? How can a district ignore that the National Board of Certification for teachers offers national certification of library media specialists?

Our district is experiencing a flat line in student enrollment. Probably for the first time since I started working in the district twenty-nine years ago. That, of course, translate into a reduction in funding. Last spring our district cut third grade swimming, driver’s education and went from an overnight out school model to a three day field trip model. There was good rationale for these cuts but in the end, it does save the district money. Our Library Advisory team and Advisory Coordinator positions were also cut. It makes one wonder, “how will the library program be affected?”

I recently posed that question to our superintendent. He assured me that “libraries should be the hub of literacy and research.”

I cannot be like Chicken Little, waiting for the sky to fall. I will work this year (as I do every year) to make certain that our library is the hub of activity. I will make certain that I am available to support students and staff when I am not teaching classes. I will be doing my part to support the “$21-million state-budget request to fully fund school library media programs in every K–12 school…. $20 per K–8 student and $25 per high-schooler to provide an acceptable level of school-library resources for Washington’s school-age children.”
I hope our district will see the value that the library program provides for its students and staff.

Poetry Thursday: Summer

Like the moderators of Poetry Thursday, I have been taking a break from writing a poem each Thursday. Yesterday, a poem came knocking as I sat in the backyard to read.


Fresh air living space
I sit, rest, and watch
Spotted towhees flit here, there
Scrounging the next meal

I sit, rest, and watch
A warm breeze caresses
Wind chimes lull me asleep
My book falls to the ground

A warm breeze caresses
Whirring wings of the hummingbirds
As they send Morse code messages
To each other

The whirring wings of the hummingbirds
Am I dreaming?
A petite energy warehouse
Cupped in my hands and released

Am I dreaming?
Short rapid barks startled me
I awaken. Pick up my book
Surrounded by fresh air living space

Yikes. Sad news. I visited Poetry Thursday to leave my link and found out that Poetry Thursday will be ending in August. Hopefully, someone will pick it up. It is such a cool web page for poetry prompts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One Deep Breath: Haiku Train

This week a "haiku train" is running over at One Deep Breath . the idea is to take the last line of the haiku in the previous comment and create a haiku. Here is mine:

tuck them neat away
havested garden treasures
rainy day surprise
Now the next person to comment will use my line: "rainy day surprise" to start their haiku.
Will it be you?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thoughtful Thursday: National Boards

I met with the district coordinator for the support group for the National Board Candidates yesterday.

Writing. I will be doing a lot of writing this year. Technical writing about my teaching practice. That is why I am excited about this adventure. I will be writing about how my teaching has an impact on student learning along with demonstrating knowledge about the following:

What Library Media Specialists Know
Knowledge of Learners
Knowledge of Teaching and Learning
Knowledge of Library and Information Studies
What Library Media Specialists Do
Integrating Instruction
Leading Innovation through the Library Media Program
Administering the Library Media Program
How Library Media Specialists Grow as Professionals
Reflective Practice
Professional Growth
Ethics, Equity, and Diversity
Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Partnerships

I read these standards and think to myself, I should be able to articulate what I believe, what I practice, and what I know.

To obtain certification, I will show evidence through lessons and student work how I do the above. A videotaped lesson with a pan of my library is another requirement. I will write about a maximum of eight accomplishments in the last five years as it relates to student learning. Finally after all that is sent away for review, I take a writing assessment with scenarios given.

The conversation began yesterday with the statement that the design of the National Boards is exactly for a teacher like me. One with experience and one reflective in their practice. That was encouraging to hear. I know I would not be interested if I had to take a multiple-choice exam to be certified.

So we meet six hours a month as a large group to work, get tips, check to see if we are on pace. It is rigorous and the expectation is not to miss meetings. Meeting with other candidates weekly is a recommendation.

I feel much supported in this process. I understand that Washington State has a high rate of success. That the district provides an opportunity for teachers to gather and work is fabulous.

Going off to organize my notebooks. I promise to update along the way. I am sure that not all posts as cheery as this one. Please remind me to re-read this post.

Thank you for the words of support in my Sunday Scribbling's post.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One Deep Breath: Evening

evening dragonfly, Hagerman, Idaho, 2007

evening serenity
a brief life

I continually am amazed at the brevity in the adult life of a dragonfly. Must savor the moment.
"Evening" is the theme at One Deep Breath this week. Enoy what others write about evening here.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Decision for a New Year

Did you know that August first marks a new year? It does for me. You see, as a teacher, the school switch turns itself on. This is a good thing. I believe the year the switch doesn't go on is the year to retire.

August is about new ideas, and goals. My good friends have been instructed to get a shepherds’s hook and pull me aside the year I return to school without new ideas and goals for the year.

This is my thirty-fourth year of teaching. I am watching friends and colleagues retire. It is expected that I teach until sixty-five on my retirement plan in the state of Washington. That means about eleven more years. I want to stay fresh, I want to avoid "retirement envy". So I made a decision.

I am pursuing the National Board Certification for Library Media. A friend in Idaho planted a seed (probably unknowingly) followed by a conversation with another library media specialist who is on board to take it. She is taking it and another library media specialist is taking it. Our district has developed a wonderful support process for those seeking National Board Certification.

It means putting my beliefs, my teaching style and knowledge about students out there for review. It means six hours a month with my peers in a cadre to prepare for the certification. I have to produce a portfolio, sample student work, and videos of my teaching. And come spring 2008, I will take an exam.

I couldn't fall asleep the day I made the decision to do this. My mind would not turn off with excitement of a challenge. I knew it was the right decision for me. I guess the switch hasn't turned off yet nor do I need the shepherd's hook to pull me away.

What decision have you made lately? To read about more deciders, click here.

Friday, August 03, 2007

One Deep Breath: Compare and Contrast

From my patio today.... lots and lots of bird activity.

tiny pilots zoom
fight over territory
hummingbird nectar

towhee juvenile
fearless adventurer
naive about the world

feline lounges near
opportunity awaits
prefers mice to birds

This is the scene in my yard. So much fun to watch. My goal is to get a shot of the fighting hummingbirds. Quite entertaining the way their tails flare. And the juvenile towhee did not have a clue about what he/she was to do. Allowed me to get very close. Got a scolding from dad when he went back into the boxwood.

For more compare and contract, visit Haiku: One Deep Breath.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Bloggers' Meme

I recieved an apologetic comment from deb. "I am afraid I have tagged you...". I understand, sometimes you do know how people will react. But this is a fun meme with tips for bloggers. Join us with tips even if you were not tagged.

-Start Copy-
It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)
Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers.
Try to make your tip general.
After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!
Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!
1. Look, read, and learn. *****-

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. ***-

3. Don’t let money change ya! *-

4. Always reply to your comments. *******-

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. ****

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. ***-

7. Give link credit where credit is due. *******-

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post.*****-

9. Participating in ‘memes’ is a destructive habit and should be avoided at all costs. **-

10. Don’t hold back.*-

11. Short Fiction is the bomb!*-

12. Redesign your site often. Visual boredom breeds textual complacency. **

13. Labels--not too many, not too few--help your readers browse.*

14. Try something new like participate in poetry or writing prompts: One Deep Breath or Sunday Scribblings.

-End Copy-

I tag Tammy, Rose DK, Patois, Remiman, and Regina. Please play along if you wish.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Things That Make You Go Hmmm....

This post has been deleted. My apologies, I was a little quick to post it.