Tuesday, March 30, 2010

High School Internship: Day 3

(24 hours down, 16 to go)

I think I have the routine down, because today was just a normal day. I had to meet with the principal (along with two student teachers) to go over the employee handbook. It was pretty straight-forward, and since I've worked in that district before, it was nothing I hadn't heard before.  The principal did tell us about how their whole internet system (including grades, payroll, and attendance) was shut down last year for over two weeks because of a virus that they think was brought in on someone's flash drive.  They have updated their system so that flash drives are scanned for viruses when they're plugged in to a school computer.

When I got back to the LMC I talked to Ms. S about it, because with the computer out for so long I wondered whether they bothered checking out books, and how it affected their daily routine. She said that the two circulation desk computers were out for only a week but during that week they had to search for books by memory, and using their Dewey Decimal books to jog their memory about where books might be. They allowed one student at a time to use one of the circulation desk computers for research purposes. She said the most frustrating thing was the lack of communication regarding when they could start using computers again. They weren't directly contacted and had to rely on word of mouth whether they could resume computer use. That is a huge problem, since card catalogues have been replaced by electronic (often online) systems. There needs to be a back-up plan for when things go off-line, and media specialists should know their Dewey Decimal. I'm pretty good at remembering it, although I often have to recite The Dewey Decimal Rap to jog my memory (my 4th graders actually listen to The Dewey Decimal Rap as they're working on the computer).

Since I'm on the subject of Melvil Dewey 's system, I spent some time today getting acquainted with some of its quirks. Ms. Y, the LMC para, has been wanting to re-classify some of the books in the 900s, so I helped her by pulling the ones that seemed out of place. Before doing so I checked online (of course) to see what was supposed to go in that section, specifically the 914s, which is supposed to be the section for books about Europe. However, in this school it was dedicated to travel books and geography (which is supposed to be 910) with some historical geography (911) and some travel memoirs (921) thrown into the mix.  It wasn't pretty, and many of the books were old and are possibly going to be weeded from the system.

During 3rd hour I went and introduced myself to Ms. V.S. who is the teacher I am collaborating with.  I got clarification from her that her expectations are that I'll have the entire hour (both 4th and 5th) so I decided to do a hand-out of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen poems (one poet on each side of a double-sided page). After my Prezi presentation, I'll have students break off into groups of 4, and two people will read the Hughes poems, while the other two will read the Cullen poems. They will then tell the other two in their group what they got out of the poems (not sure yet how I'll word this). I also decided that I was going to scrap the Prezi I've been working on for 2 days, in exchange for using the Prezi I found already made in the "share" section of Prezi, mainly because it is a bit more detailed, and I like the way the creator stylized his presentation.  I'll edit it by adding a bit more about the authors Cullen, Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston, and change some wording. I'll be giving full credit to the original creator, of course, but I think it is a good idea to show students a nicer Prezi (and as a beginner I don't have the skills to make one really cool) so that they know what they could potentially create. And actually, just by modifying the Prezi, I figured out very quickly how to do what he did. I'll post my finished product later.

I also touched base with the other teacher who wanted to collaborate in a lesson on Digital Citizenship (the one I'm using BrainPOP! with) and we set up time on Thursday instead of Friday so that I could teach it. Ms. S wanted to see what I was going to do since BrainPOP was new to her.

I also spent an hour or two shuffling books in the fiction section, since some of the shelves were getting very crowded. That was difficult, only because I was once again distracted by the books themselves.

Hmm, it doesn't look like I did a lot, but I kept busy the whole day. I felt much more comfortable and relaxed today, like I belonged, which I think is good. I'll get more out of the experience if I'm truly entering in to the role of a high school media specialist.

And I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, just don't remind me that I'm supposed to be on Spring Break.

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