by Jen Wodlinger
Until recently, I was afraid to fail.
As a teacher-librarian for the past twenty years, I lived in fear of disappointing teachers who relied upon my expertise as a collaborative teaching partner. On more than one occasion I worried I had damaged the learning process for my students when a technology project did not go as planned, or a project-based learning experience didn’t end up meeting the expectations we desired.
In retrospect, failing was a good thing. As we reflect on our experiences, mistakes, successes, and yes, “bombed” projects, we can use those experiences to enrich our lives and our careers. I came to this conclusion recently after receiving a Master’s Degree in Innovative Learning from Touro University. The knowledge I gained around brain-based learning, student-centered instruction, new technologies, and learning theory has given me self-assurance when working with teachers on collaborative projects, thus providing me the confidence to pursue a leadership role in my school district.
This knowledge reinforced something that I already knew: creating an atmosphere of equity for diverse learners in any school setting is important. The Innovative Learning program at Touro University provided me with awareness around the struggle English language learners and students with diverse backgrounds experience at school. As a result, I’m more vigilant in my practice of recognizing these students’ needs.
Reflecting on this past year, my head swims when I think about landing a new job in a new state, qualifying for a California credential, pursuing a Master’s Degree, passing the CBEST, turning sixty, and last-but-not-least, surviving an afternoon at the DMV and passing my driver’s test.
What’s next? Good question. I’m not finished learning, and I feel empowered in my ability to pursue whatever comes my way.
In the meantime, if you are ever interested in pursuing further learning, I suggest checking into an online program. Attending class from the comfort of your living room is very relaxing, fun, and enlightening!
The poster above may provide a little food for thought on the power we, as effective school librarians, possess. We can create lifelong learning experiences for students that will give them the skills to pursue a successful school and work career.