Monday, July 29, 2013

Over My Head? Self-Doubt About My Latest Endeavor

Oh, Christine McVie, how you taunt me.

Ever since the 4th of July I have been periodically hearing her singing "Over My Head" in the  back of my mind.  While I have been a Fleetwood Mac fan since I discovered the 'white album' in 1975, I am finding this repetition somewhat annoying. Over the past few days, it has played with increasing frequency and intensity.

Call it nerves.  Here we are two weeks from the starting date for teachers, and I am nowhere near ready.  My summer reading goals were a complete failure; the lesson plans I had hoped to have completed by now are only partially done. I have been to the farm once --ONCE--this summer.

But I have been very busy, replacing my original goals with more spontaneous responses to professional development.  I have, somewhat accidentally, created and am moderating a Google+ Community to support candidates seeking National Board Teaching Certification in Library Media. This community will replace the Yahoo Group that so many library media specialists, including me, used to help achieve certification. Nationally. Oh, my word, what was I thinking!

My role in this group is accidental, in that I was did not start out with the intention of creating and moderating a group.  In response to the news that the Yahoo group would close due to the retirement of the Cynthia Wilson, the group owner/moderator, many people expressed interest in maintaining the group in some form.  On July 7 I suggested that this might be the time to move the group to another, more evolved forum.  Janet Clark suggested Google Hangouts, and while investigating that possibility, I discovered Google+ Communities.  I created a community called "Library NBCT Support" and referred it to the Yahoo group for comment.  By July 8 we had 17 members and Cynthia's blessing to move the files to our new community.  We are now up and running with 48 members and ready to help support new library NBCT candidates this coming school year.

I am thankful, very thankful, to the three people who have jumped in and contributed knowledge to this community: Kim Gunter from Florence, MS; Michael Brocato of Jefferson Parish, LA; and Missy Hinerman of Bridgeport, WV. These three epitomize the sharing that is trademark of the library profession. Without their input, this community would be nowhere near ready.  Of course, the creators and contributors to the Yahoo group- Cynthia Wilson, AnnMarie Pipkin and many more- deserve countless thanks for developing this vision of mentorship since it's inception in 2001.

I guess as I am writing this, the self-doubt is melting, knowing that this endeavor is supported by many NBCT library media specialists.  As Janet Clark said to me in one of our initial emails, "people will help, and we will learn together."  This is a true example of collaboration and mentorship.  I am looking forward to our first year.


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