Friday, March 26, 2010

High School Internship: Day 1

(8 hours down, 32 to go)

This could be the start 
Of something new 
It feels so right 
To be here with you, ohh 
And now looking in your eyes 
I feel in my heart
The start of something new!

There's nothing like a day in a high school to make it crystal clear that High School Musical was way off base. Of course I'm blocking my own high school experience out of my memory, so I thoroughly enjoyed my first day at Mounds View High School with Ms. S and her full-time para Ms. Y.

I learned so much today. It was really tough being ready so early, for MVs early start (my High School work day: 7-3) but the nice thing about LMCs (library media centers) is that they're all pretty much like coming home. 

First off, I'm very excited to say that I have a co-collaborator for next week. I was aggressive in my search for a good collaboration match for this internship so it was one of the first things I started talking about after I had had the tour. Ms. S had me e-mail out the entire staff this morning, pleading my case. I made sure to put in there that my intent was not to disrupt their normal schedule of events, but rather to enhance what they were already working on. 

I had one taker. 

Ms. V, a social studies teacher, e-mailed me back (she was the only one to e-mail me back, but that's okay, I'm pretty excited about the lesson). Her students are doing background research on the 1920s on a variety of topics, which they'll present to the class in short oral/visual presentations.  She asked me if I'd like to do a presentation on either the KKK or the Harlem Renaissance. I'm going to do some research this weekend, but I think I'll be focusing on the Harlem Renaissance, using Prezi to create a multimedia presentation. I figure this way I can not only teach a bit about the time, but also teach them some cool tricks about giving good presentations (Prezi will work great with this, and its easy enough to use that high school students should be able to learn it if they want to use it with their presentation).  I think it will be a good way to combine what she wants with what I can bring to the table as a LMS. 

Okay back to a more chronological ordering of the day. I had the obligatory tour first off. Great collection of books, many on display that were shiny and well-cared for (or else very new). There were about 20 computers at stations, and 20 laptops available for check-out. The 2 computer labs in the building are located on the opposite side of the building, and are monitored by another teacher.  There was a constellation of small back rooms. Several offices (Ms. S told me that there used to be 3 full-time media specialists, as well as a tech, and a desk clerk). One of the offices is now a viewing room with a TV available for students to watch movies that they might have missed due to an absence. There is also a small classroom which has occasionally been used as a regular classroom, but Ms. S said the disruption of kids coming through was hard to deal with, so they lobbied to have it no longer used. It is now only used once a day for a small group. 

There's a really nifty back room (that I think I'll call The Stacks) that has about 20 shelves that roll together to conserve space. The Stacks hold all the teacher sets of books, AV materials, back issues of magazines (they keep magazines for 4 years, although there were some donated National Geographic issues from the 50s, from which I got to tear a dozen maps to use for a book display) and every issue of the yearbook published.  Ms. S used these today to track down photographs of a teacher who used to work there, and is retiring at the end of the year. 

I had the chance to re-do the book display. It was set up to highlight books about what it is like to live in America as a minority. I re-did it using the ALA's list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learner (from which Ms. S always buys new books for the collection). I decided to highlight books dealing with the social sciences: Tuesdays with Morrie, A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier, What Color Is Your Parachute?, Wheelchair Warrior: Gangs, Disability, and Basketball, Sold, Three Cups of Tea, Nineteen Minutes, Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines, The Devil's Highway: A True Story, and The Glass Castle among others. I used small black-and-white maps torn out of old National Geographic issues to write blurbs about the books which I taped jauntily on the covers of several of the duller-looking books (I'll insert a picture here later of my display).

Which brings me to my #1 reinforced realization of the day: I would love to work in a high school LMC, if only because I would never run out of reading material. 

I also had the chance to help a kid who was scanning some pages from Maus which he had to e-mail his teacher (there are about 5 scanners available for student use in the LMC) and spent about an hour with Ms. S and a visiting tech trying to figure out why a projector wasn't projecting any sound. Turns out it was a faulty cord. 

Busy day, fun day. 

Of all the books I saw today, the coolest one was Material World by Peter Menzel. It visits every continent and socio-economic status by literally emptying out all belongings of a household in front of that house, along with the family. It was amazing to see what families around the world are holding in their homes. The picture I've included will enlarge if you click on it, and you can visit the photographer's website by clicking on the book link. Such a new way to look at the world.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you will have a great spring break after all.