Thursday, September 5, 2013


There have been a lot of things I've thought about while working out of the Media Center Commons this year.

1.  I have seen every single kid in this school at least once.  We did textbook checkouts here; I enjoyed seeing faces then imagining what they would sound like when they told me their ID number. I was usually surprised.

2.  We (principal, "secretary" who runs the place) talked this summer about the feel of the room. We want it to be a more collaborative, comfortable location for the kids to work in. I was gung ho and excited about that, but I think I'm struggling with it now. When kids are sitting and bopping to music, or lounging (and I mean lounging) in one of our comfy chairs, I'm having trouble stopping myself from telling them they need to find something to do.  But where's the line?  Yesterday I heard there was a kid with his hoodie pulled up, sleeping. I mean, really?!

3.  I don't enjoy sharing small spaces. There's been a lady here the past few weeks entering student data. She's very nice, a bit too chatty, but she wears a really strong perfume. The funny thing is that the first day she asked me about my air freshener that I have in here; said it was bothering her.

4.  There are always exceptions to rules.  Whether we like it or not.

5. Open House goes really fast when you're busy (and I didn't think I would be).

6. Having a cold, not being able to sleep well, and staying at school for 3 extra hours in the middle of the week stinks.

7. I'm really curious to see what technology the staff uses here and is comfortable with; we've been so busy with the Chromebook roll out and getting kids' devices registered that I haven't really been able to do that. Today I was able to get out to show a teacher a website called pdf Escape (she was wanting something the kids could use to enter info on a pdf) and next week I'm going to spend some time with a chem teacher who has flipped his class.  That's the stuff that I'm excited about starting.

8.  I like my job. I don't miss my classroom.  But still, I miss my teacher friends, feeling comfortable with people, and knowing kids.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Kristen,

    Concerning the Learning Commons, you've hit on the very essence of why transforming a space isn't about the furniture...or the paint...or getting rid of books. (Although all the aforementioned are a component of transformation.) It's about shifting our notion of what it means to learn...but that has to happen in the classroom also. When we truly start transforming from teacher-directed learning environments to student-centered environments, the transformation will permeate in every nook and cranny of the institution.

    By and large, students are still entering teacher-directed classrooms where there is little "investment" on their part. It's the "just-tell-me-what-to-do-and-I'll-do-it-because-you-said-so" attitude. So think about the last time you were in an all-day PD event where you mostly sat and listened. if you then were sent down to the Learning Commons, what would you do? I know what I would do...I'd pull my hoodie over my head and take a nap...or socialize with my friends. It's a perpetual state of being disengaged. So how do we more fully engage students? (Hint: students have ownership of their learning)

    Enter "the girls"...our mission is to be gentle shifters, transforming the entire ecosystem of the school into a more student-centered environment...where the students are empowered to create their learning experiences. Add it gets a lot more interesting b/c technology finally provides students with multiple pathways to understanding the content. It gives the students more choices which ultimately encourages more ownership of the learning. Getting the hardware into the kids' hands is just the first we need to support the teachers in letting go a you did in your classroom. This will take time...lots of it.

    I apologize for droning on and on but I just loved your post. Remember the other day I said the transformation of the media center would not happen overnight? It's because we have to figure out how to shift not just that one space but all of the spaces. It's both daunting and exciting at the same time. It's going to be a big, big year! I love your blog, Kristen. I started a new blog last Spring but haven't really done much with it. You've inspired me to get back to it! Thanks!