Thinking Back- Looking Forward

2016. Wow. What a year. Here I sit on the final day of the year, thinking back and looking forward.

What did I learn? 
Growth Mindset has been big for me this year. Where once I was ''I'm not.. I can't... I don't know...", 2016 was my year of failing forward- of jumping in and taking risks, of trying new things. In early 2016, I decided I needed some professional development and took myself to NCTIES. It was there I began to think, "Well maybe. I already do that! I'm not a failure!" And it was there I first began to dream about a new program- space and all it could be. Yet became my new favorite word. 

Leadership has shifted for me this year. The realization that it is not solely up to me to change the world has been freeing. Seriously. Those of you who know me personally, know that "changing the world through changing thinking one person at a time" is a big deal for me. For those of you who don't know me so well, in the past that translated into me participating in many, many teams and committees so that I had a voice. A voice at the table, hoping to make changes. I was also a "DOER". While having a voice, and being on committees, and being a doer are not bad things- in the long run, it's not sustainable. The back half of 2016 finds me narrowing my focus: creating a relevant library program that is replicable and impactful? 

Library Programming is a work in progress. 2016 brought the opportunity for me to start up a program from scratch. New school. New staff family. New materials. New responsibilities. Fostering a culture of reading and creating readers is key to me. If we have readers- we have thinkers. If we have readers- we have learners. If we have readers- we change the world.  Giving kids options to explore topics of their choice is also important, and we've begun the process of research. Book Club for fifth grade was added this fall, and open hours to the community/parents afterschool.  All baby steps on the path to the final product. 

Personal things: I turned 50 this year. There's definitely a perspective shift when that happens. I suddenly understood the adages that purport that time goes by faster the older you get. I had an issue with my foot that left me in a boot for 7 weeks, and I'm on week 6 of physical therapy - that will likely be a part of my life for the next 4 months.  I've watched my parents struggle through health issues, and their changing situation this year. Each of these events has pushed me forward in my need to build the right program, train young minds, foster growth. For our kids are our future. 

What do I want to learn? 

Balance in all things. Balance in instruction. When to focus on what. How much tech and when. What new things to try. And oh... balancing work and home life. I've spent far more time in the back 1/2 of this year with family and working on my own health. Walking through the minefields of health issues has certainly helped me to adjust my time spent in different areas of my life.

Making. How do I incorporate building, making, crafting into the library program? How do we create a place for kids to think and experiment and try things? I want it to be intentional and practical- not something done in namesake only.  

You fill in the blank... tell me. What would you put in a new library program? What skills? What experiences? What opportunities? Comment below and tell me, because I am not an expert- just someone still learning. 


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