I can’t believe that we’re almost done with classes, but this last class was just a treat. We’ve been watching these various videos put together by either associations of school librarians or schools and so we had the chance to make one. I worked with Caroline and Maria, who I’m creating the mock school website with and we just had a great time. Though we didn’t budget our time too well, because we spent most of the time planning and only a little bit filming. Its hard to sum up anything in under five minutes especially what a library means because a library and a school library can be so many things.
The second half of class we talked about data, evidence based learning and assessments how to pull all these things together. What I really took away from this discussion was how difficult and important it is to be constantly looking and thinking about what you’re doing in terms of teaching, the day to day life of your library and how to have that information readily available. Its wonderful how so many publishers like Follett are providing good tools for analyzing circulation, but its more than just having the tools, its actually using them. Though this is true for any form of data collection, it helps to have some idea of what you’re going to do with the data you collect so you know what to choose to collect.
Assessment appears to be one of the hardest parts of being an educator, which isn’t a complete surprise but it was so fascinating to talk about. Since there are just so many different ways to go about thinking and creating projects and assignments and just like with data collection, if you know what you want to get from the students, it helps along the way. So clear benchmarks or check points in a larger project and presenting and creating models of this is what I want the best work to look like makes a lot of sense. I also got the impression from listening to the former teachers in the class that assessment is a skill that needs to be adaptable and built on a strong sense of what you need to know.
I come away from this class session so aware of how key it is to be constantly looking at how you’re doing in everything in your library and using that to work on making things better.