Changing schools, staying connected

I’m in a surreal phase this week, my last week at the school where I’ve been almost 5 years. An unwelcome illness kept me from school for 2 whole weeks (can you believe?) and helped begin the distancing process. Now it’s just 5 more days, and I really do feel like I’m in a strange half-world (although I think the prolonged illness is probably to blame).

The last couple of months have been very strange indeed. Our overseas trip during the last week of term 2 and the 2 weeks of holidays was full on, then major jetlag, followed by extreme tiredness and then the couple of weeks of fever and general unwellness, interrupted the normal routine. Somehow I managed to miss one son’s 18th (hiding out in the bedroom but very aware of noise and hilarity) and make it to the other son’s 21st last Friday which was very enjoyable.

Back to school for one last week, and Book Week will ensure that this week will not be without dramas and hopefully good times.

As I think forward to my new school, new library team, new students and staff, I’m grateful that some things will carry across without any fuss. I’m talking about my online resources – my blogs, wikis and Google Sites which can be adapted to resourcing the new school’s curriculum, and can also still be used by teachers and students at my old school. At this point I can justify my determination to keep resources in the cloud and not just within the walls of the intranet. This way everybody wins.

I’m also very pleased that I’m seeing the fruits of a student blogging initiative. The blog I started as a library blog, Fiction is like a box of chocolates, mainly to promote reading, started to expand in different directions. Firstly, I involved staff in reviews to show students that their teachers read and diversely, and secondly, I pulled students in to write reviews. I wanted students to take ownership of the blog, and so a small but dedicated and talented group began expanding reviews to include film and games. I encouraged them to find their own style, and I’m happy to say that this is what occurred. The blog has become a platform for students’ interests, opinions and writing. One of the students went out on a limb and wrote about something close to his heart, depression and people’s attitude to it (in this post). The blog stats attest to the readership these boys attract, and I’m very proud of them. The boys also have big plans to write a Science Fiction story collaboratively which will be published as a serial in the blog. I’m looking forward to seeing how this project develops, and I’m happy that I can leave knowing that that this group of boys have taken ownership of the blog, that they can work together to keep this project alive.

I leave my school knowing that I can keep in touch with friends and colleagues online, and that we can continue to share ideas and online resources. Although I’m moving on, I’m looking forward to bringing ideas and skills to my new school as well as continuing to share with my old school.  My zone of collaboration is expanding.

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