You Think You Know What Librarians Do?

| Originally publish on BubbleUp Classroom by Corey Thornblad|

This week I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Virginia Association of School Librarians conference in Norfolk, Virginia. I’ll admit that I was a fish out of water — the only teacher in a sea of school librarians. Even though I don’t know much about the Dewey Decimal system or online catalogs, they made me feel right at home.

As I sat at dinner, listening to their conversation about teaching and learning, I realized that unless you have had the privilege of working in a school over the past decade you may not understand what school librarians actually do.  Librarians are not a braggy bunch; so I feel inclined to set the record straight on their behalf. You probably think they spend their entire day shelving and checking out books, while shushing students. It’s time to set aside these stereotypes and give librarians their long overdue kudos.

Librarians teach — a lot 
First and foremost, school librarians are teachers. If you walk into our school’s library on any given day you are likely to see one of our librarians co-teaching or independently teaching a lesson. In order to pull this off, librarians have to be content experts in everything from science to math to PE. Moreover, librarians have the ability and desire to teach children of all levels and learning styles.

Librarians are Apple Geniuses in disguise
Librarians know A LOT about technology. Our librarians are the go-to teachers in our building for everything tech. They help us search the web, use Twitter, create our own websites, and help us learn how to use Google Classroom.

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A Look Inside Gale’s Reading Mentor Program

| By Caroline Drexler |

Background

I began my career at Gale as a library sales consultant in February of 2000, moving to my current customer success manager role in 2016. Within my first two years at Gale, I heard about an organization working with students at the local elementary school since 1998 called the Hillside Mentor program. At the time Laurie Fundukian was heading up this program, she worked in the editorial department at Gale for over 17 years.

Typically, each fall the Hillside Mentor team reaches out to the school to determine the start date of the program—we solicit Gale folks to get volunteers. Normally, we get about 30 volunteers, but there is no limit due to the massive amount of kids requesting help. Usually, one or two students are assigned a mentor, for one hour every week. We meet with the student in the library or classroom and read to them while they eat lunch, while trying to encourage them to read to us. Some days, we play a game or talk but as a mentor, our job is to improve their skills by encouraging them to read.

Dylan’s Story

When I joined the program I was assigned a student who was not only a poor reader, but also had many challenges at home.  His name was Dylan, a kindergartner at Hillside Elementary, who was living with his grandparents. He was never read to as a child and dealt with the immense struggles of a missing father and drug addicted mother. I could tell he was a very curious child, but had issues focusing on a specific task.

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Giving Thanks for National Teachers’ Day

| By Debra Kirby |

National Teachers’ Day, which is observed in the United States on the first Tuesday of the first full week in May, is a great time to reflect on all the ways teachers have enriched our lives. Engaged teachers go beyond teaching their students the subject matter related to their classes—they also teach such skills as critical thinking, communication, organization, teamwork, and—in some cases—act as role models in ways that benefit their students into adulthood.

I was very fortunate to have just such a teacher: Mrs. Erma Colding, the science teacher at Harms Elementary in Detroit. Her class was the favorite of many students, and not just because it was filled with plants and animals. She was kind, engaging, encouraging, passionate about learning, and made science fun! Most of this I recognized at the time, but it was many years before I realized she had also been a role model for grace, dignity, and courage. I kept in touch with Mrs. Colding throughout my life, but only learned after her death that she was also a civil rights activist and a recipient of the prestigious NAACP Freedom and Justice Award.

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Unearth the Story Behind Hulu’s Riveting New Series, The Handmaid’s Tale

| By Traci Cothran | The Handmaid’s Tale is a new TV series on Hulu, and it’s getting a lot of attention. The Guardian calls it a “timely adaptation [that] scares with dystopian dread.”  USA Today dubs it “a wake-up call for women.”  James Poniewozik from The New York Times says, “It is unflinching, vital and … Read more

Take Your Kids To Work Day…Gale Style

On the fourth Thursday of each April, over 37 million Americans at more than 3.5 million workplaces participate in Take Your Kids To Work Day. Yesterday marked the program’s 21st anniversary. If you’re one of those 37 million who brought your child to work yesterday, your day was likely filled with entertaining events uncommon in your usual … Read more

Gale Interactive: Science Takes Home Silver

Congratulations to Gale and CVMedia for winning a silver award in the Motion Graphics/Effects video category for Gale Interactive: Science at this year’s Horizon Interactive Awards.

The Horizon Interactive Awards, now in its 15th season, has become one of the most prestigious awards in the field of interactive and creative media. The competition recognizes, promotes, and awards the best web sites/web site design, interactive, videos, online advertising, print media, and mobile applications. Each year, the Horizon Interactive Awards receives thousands of entries from all over the world and a volunteer panel of industry professionals, from diverse multi-media, graphic design, advertising, and marketing backgrounds, review the entries to determine the work that is to be recognized.

The annual, international competition saw over 1200 entries from around the world including 40 out of 50 US States and 20 countries including: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Greenland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and Uruguay.

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GVRL PD Titles for Administrators to Support Teacher Appreciation Year-round

| By Nicole Albrecht |

A squeaky lunchroom cart is being pushed down the hallway. It is filled with candy snacks and cards, as well as big bowl of chocolate covered strawberries. The principal’s secretary is pushing the cart from classroom to classroom, during instructional time, offering up treats in celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week. I stare down the hallway watching the cart come my way, thankful I am on my planning period, and though I am grateful for a sweet treat, I am more relieved that this isn’t during my regular scheduled classes. A quick thank you to the secretary and with a chocolate covered strawberry in my hand, I close my classroom door and smirk thinking, “would have been nicer if the principal actually passed these out” and then I thought about what I actually would have wanted from my administration during this “appreciation week.” Chocolate strawberries and candies were not the answer.

During the early month of May, National Teacher Appreciation is the star holiday in front of Memorial Day. For some teachers, it is a week of free lunches, early releases, assemblies, announcements, and student hand-made thank you cards. There are also some teachers who do not have the luxury of such appreciative gifts from their students and administrators—receiving nothing at all. As a former teacher, I have experienced both forms of appreciation from administration and have felt the same about it all: for me, Teacher Appreciation Week was something that should be happening all year, not in the form of chocolate covered strawberries and thank you cards.

So what does a teacher really need from their administration to feel appreciated? Looking back on the last eight years of my teaching career, considering my own needs and the discussions I’ve had with colleagues, I have outlined a few common themes that may help administrators show their teachers they are appreciated year-round:

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Centennial of the Battle at Vimy Ridge

| By Traci Cothran |

Throughout 2017, Canada is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the WWI Battle at Vimy Ridge (France).  It was a seminal event in Canadian history—a fierce battle against the German forces, which resulted in heavy casualties, including the loss of 3,598 Canadian soldiers and some 20,000 Germans, with tens of thousands more wounded.  Remarkable as it was, this victory against the Germans wasn’t solely a battlefield feat; because the Canadians prevailed where French had failed many times (at an enormous loss of life) and paved the way to Allied victory, the event helped unify Canada, and solidify its independence in the international community.  Commemorative events are planned throughout Canada, as well as in France.

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The College Blue Book is Highly Recommended

The College Blue Book is a comprehensive guide covering nearly 12,000 institutions of higher learning, occupational and technical schools, and distance learning programs. It includes information on early decision and early action figures, ACT and SAT essay requirements, SAT deadlines, and numbers on wait-listed applicants. The College Blue Book features universities, senior colleges, two-year colleges, and … Read more