Field Trip

My CBC Visitor Badge - Image427photo © 2007 Roland Tanglao | more info (via: Wylio)
Last week I was able to spend a half day in someone else’s library in another district. (I have a principal who supports this kind of professional development.) I’ve done it a number of times in years past and I’ll have another half-day visit somewhere else soon. Why write sub plans and jump through hoops to do this?

I find that’s its valuable to see how others do the same job that I do. I take note of the physical space and think about what I could do differently in mine. I browse the collection and always find treasures I missed;  (we all read different review sources, have different priorities, use different catalogs.)

I get great ideas for bulletin boards and projects and I see how class time is structured, and how book exchange happens.

If I’m really lucky the librarian I’m visiting will have a few minutes of down time to chat at some point and I’ll ask her/him about their greatest challenges and how they’re working to overcome them.

I come away with a renewed respect for my colleagues in other places and plenty of things to ponder.  Except for the sub, this costs my district nothing and I get some worthwhile professional development.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lydia Schultz
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 21:26:49

    I completely agree with you! My school remodeled about 5 years ago, and we were remodeling the “Knowledge Center” which consisted of the library, computer lab, and a break-out classroom. Luckily, I was able to be part of the team which got to visit a variety of school libraries and labs with the architects who were working on our space. As a result, we built in a tiered lab layout with the monitors facing the front of the classroom–when they are facing the teacher or smartboard, the computers are behind them, and when they are working, I can see if they are on the right site or having problems. It immensely simplified the lab time. And in the library we made sure to build in a corner with overstuffed chairs for informal meetings and the older kids, a story time circle with benches (that can be moved for assemblies), and an area with study carols with enough outlets and ports for laptops. It wouldn’t have been possible if those other schools (and mine too!) hadn’t been open to our visits.


    • buchlady
      Feb 12, 2011 @ 10:54:54

      So true! I wish we lived closer–I’d come visit! Your space sounds wonderful and so functional. It amazes me how many libraries get built with no input from the librarian! In my space there are no electrical outlets where we could really use them (and plenty where we don’t need them!)


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