Sunday, January 29, 2017

Warning: Do NOT Read This Blog Post!

(This is an example of one of my Daring School Library Edublogss postings- written in the style of Lemony Snicket) 

Hello dear readers, this is Gwyneth Jones - your one and only ridiculously humble Daring Librarian here with dire 
As Sophia (the delightfully cheerful girl above) reported on MHTV News we must share something distasteful with you.  

Why? Because I recently awoke feeling a dreadful malaise and a lingering doleful fear about something I just uncovered. When I say "uncover" imagine turning over a mossy rock expecting cute wriggly earth worms and rolly polly pill bugs only to find a suspect piece of butterscotch candy wrapped in a soggy cellophane wrapper...well, read below for our news story. 

Oh, and don't be angry with me OR with the smiley Sophia...we HAD to give this news 
Here's the Script:  

We here at #MHTVNews usually like to share uplifting and heartwarming stories about young people who joyfully create amazing things and are rewarded for their Scientific, Literary, Artistic, and or Academic Achievements.
We’re here to give a warning that there is a pernicious, which means here deadly, and terrifying new series now available for streaming on
(And as a wry aside, may I add that this is surely a silly name for a terribly sinister author! I met him once back in 2004, at the Howard County Public Library - He signed a book for me and though I was introduced to him by one of my favourite students as the Evil Daring Librarian Ms. Jones - he said I was only 
As if!  [snit] /a)
 

Of course, we have all the books in this horrid series in the Murray Hill Daring School Library Media Center, we consider that fair warning so that you may read them, if you are so inclined, to be properly prepared. They are terrible books of horrible events and only appreciated by those who are slightly tetched in the heid (Scottish variety) or bloodthirsty.
Oh and Count Olaf? We’re keeping a weather eye on you sir! Be sure of that! No more sneaking around and hiding in my Library Office.

Find Count Olaf Hiding in my Office!



Sunday, January 22, 2017

FETC, Flocabulary, & FREE RAW Pixels

Welcome back dear readers! And welcome to any who are here for the first time, I'm so glad you're here! I've got exciting news!
I'm super thrilled and honored to have been invited to be a Featured Speaker at this year's Future of Education Technology Conference! (OR #FETC!) I have a very busy schedule, speaking for 7+ hours with four presentations starting at 8am and finishing at 7:30 pm! Whew!  
I know, just like Elaine on Seinfeld I use WAY too many exclamation points. Sorry, that's kinda my jam. 

If you're going to the conference or just curious, visit my  Landing Wikispaces Page w/ MAPS, Wireless Passwords, my Speaking Schedule, Resources, & MORE!  This is my first time going and I've followed the resources for years on Twitter by following their hashtag. How brilliant of them to use the same hashtag all year long. No need to add a year since all Tweets are chronological anyway.



On My Presenting Style 
& Teaching Philosophy
But you'll have to see me in person for my unique (and humble!) brand of immature middle school humour, & corny jokes, amusing anecdotes, and bonus Ed Tech tips in person!  Although I do have a graphic version of my professional mission statement, in words here it is. 

My style of presenting and teaching (as you may have noticed on this blog) is daring innovation mixed with a fearless attitude of positivity and passion. All put forward with the idea that you don't have to try them ALL right now (new tech toy or teaching innovation) no one can! 

Oh, and you don't have to Marry IT! Just pick one thing & give it a whirl. You'll never get any guilt trips from me! Just lots of options, lesson ideas, free printables, graphics, posters, and practical suggestions for implementation into any classroom, subject area, or school library. And FUN. It's always gotta be fun!


I'm excited to be staying and presenting two sessions at the beautiful Hyatt Regency and SO looking forward to be having lunch with my Hip Hop Flocabulary & MC Educator pal Emily Gover @edtechjam
including dear friend the Digital Diva herself, Joquetta Johnson and new MC Educator friend Allison Schalk.


I'll be conducting a couple of longer workshops with presentations and featuring  hands-on group practice of lots of cool stuff!  In my presentations, I like to feature arresting images (like my buddy over and up there - OK, I'm slightly obsessed with Storm Troopers), deft graphic design, cartoon avatars, interactive activities, and engaging short videos and music clips. Just like in my library classroom, I like to mix it up baby! I readily confess, I have font lust and graphic desires.
Speaking about arresting images, one of my favorite new things is:

RAW Pixel is a collection of FREE stock Images with very liberal license use for blogs, presentations, school displays, and more! Combined with PicMonkey makes graphic image magic that ANYone can do!   I joined RAW Pixel last year and have now collected a whole gallery of great photo resources. (Some of my FREE Flickr Creative Commons photos are in there, too!) and I edit them with the awesome PicMonkey - which is also FREE ...did I mention FREE? 
(Psst. It's FREE but the Royale features are SO worth the extra $!)
When it comes to Images: Always Respect the photo license,  give attribution, & enjoy the gorgeous my friends! 

Special Thanks to:
My dear long time friend Luke Allen who believed in me and put my name forward to be invited to speak at FETC! I met Luke in 2010, the first year I was on the ISTE Board in Denver and he's been so kind & generous to me over the years. You rock, pirate dude! Arrr!
Also thanks to the vision, hard work, & inspiring leadership as FETC Program Chair Jennifer Womble I'm grateful to her for making this all happen and including my visit & appearance at this significant and powerful global education event! Thanks, Jen!
I'd also like to thank my super new Principal Mr. Rick Wilson, dear Assistant Principal, Mrs. Andrea Harmon...AND my Media & Tech Supervisors Melissa Grabill & Julie Alonso-Hughes for supporting me and for letting me attend! Love you guys!

So, if you see me at FETC, maybe even sporting a #SproutHead, please make sure to say HEY! I'd love to meet you in person! This is how we grow our PLN. Together. Online, in person, at conferences, and all year long on Twitter! (and Instagram, Scoopit, blogs, and in webinars) Thank you dear reader for sticking with me and I truly hope we can meet in person and become friends - SOON!
More later, I gotta now drive through the fog back home & start packing for FETC! Flip flops...are gonna be a must for Orlando!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dr. King: a True Servant Leader


I was touched by this timeless Huffington Post article from Mr. James Perry, once mayoral candidate and the the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center:
"Among the most important lessons I've learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.
It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don't have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation. Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation.
There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires."
@JamesHPerry  
Powerful words. 
As educators, we have the honor to teach the next generation of servant leaders. It is our job, duty, and privilege to instill in them the passion to effect change and the empathy to think outside themselves. To inspire them to think not of the "me" but of the"we."

I passionately believe that we also must be a model for these values and these practices for our students. So that the kids can see that we, as teachers, administrators, and all staff, follow these values and give of ourselves for the betterment of others and the world. To take responsibility for our own actions and mistakes. We're human. We stumble, we fail, we make mistakes and we fall on our face. Show the kids that we pick ourselves up,
acknowledge our fails, apologize, and move on. How can we ask them to be accountable and take responsibility if we don't do that, too? I knew a teacher once (now, thankfully retired) who said he would NEVER apologize to a kid or a class even if he was wrong because he would lose "power." I heartily disagree! I think we are seen as more powerful when we say, "Wow, I was wrong about that, I'm so sorry!" Or try the classic "You were right and was wrong" [you can also add a pretend heart attack] to a kid or a class. But do we always remember or take that high road? Nope. 

   
It's OK To Make Mistakes! 
I do it all the time!  

Case in point. This morning, I was a blockhead and messed up part of our daily #MHTVNews program by forgetting to queue up and show an inspiring video (embedded above) that our Principal Mr. Wilson shared with us last Sunday for today's Friday show. After the show, when he asked me about why it wasn't shown, I drew a blank for a few seconds then I totally threw Mr. Dunbar under the bus ('cause it was his show today & he forgot, too!) I was mortified! Is it just old age? GAH! How did I, or we, forget that!? (See? how humans try to make excuses and push the blame around?)
But Mr. Wilson, was SO kind and understanding, and said we could show it on Tuesday. Whew! Sorry Mr. Wilson! Sorry Mr. Dunbar! It's on me! It was my fault! See? Even when we know it's the right thing to do, or forget, taking responsibility for a gaffe is difficult. Especially with a boss (or a parent!) It's a lifelong struggle to be a good person and do the right thing! But it's SO worth it! Let's share that with our kiddos and admit our occasional (or, in my case, daily) foibles and move on, lesson learned. Again. 



Model Charity and Good Works  

Our students should also see us as being charitable with our community, helping others, giving of time, effort, or funds to support those that need it. Not in a flashy or "look at me" kind of way, but just to help get things done because it's the right and good thing to do.  

Over the years I've seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief, and yearly for crisis intervention in our community by supporting Grassroots of Howard County. I am SO proud of our kiddos, we've done well...but we can always do better!


 
This is why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall:

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"
~ Albus Dumbledore

Let's be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday - but every day - throughout the year!

More inspiring words on responsibility:
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.” ~ Albert Einstein
“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.” ~ Sophocles
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” ~ Denis Waitley
from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Full disclosure: I've been writing about this since 2010. First, in my old school blog, then my Edublog, then here.  Why? Because, it's an ongoing challenge for change, growth, learning, and leadership. I pray every day to be a better person, daughter, teacher, and leader to my kiddos. It....the journey and the challenge,  never ends, and that's pretty amazing. Blessings to you all. 

Your turn! 
What are your thoughts on this topic? Hit me up on the comments to give your challenges, fails, successes, and hopes for the future in teaching, education, and life. (Nothing too big, right?)


Resources: 

Teaching & Learning Resources to Remember the Life of MLK

NEA - Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. | Scholastic

Lesson Plans & Teacher Guides - Martin Luther King Jr

Resources for Martin Luther King Jr. Day | Edutopia

 

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