Newcomer of the Year- Thank you, RHS!


Yesterday I was honored by the Ryan faculty staff. They awarded me the “Newcomer of the Year” for my hard work at the Ryan Library Makerspace! It is such an amazing honor, but I was so extremely touched to hear my principal’s comments because I realized that he knows what I do and why I do it.

“You know how sometimes a new invention comes out and you think. Oh I could’ve made that. Well, this newcomer showed me that our students are consumers, but we need to do more than that. We need to get our students to become creators.”

I can’t remember his exact wording after that, but he said something along the lines of how we need our students to be creators of things, but even more importantly we need creators of ideas.  
It’s been an amazing school year and I’m so happy that the Ryan Raiders are so supportive. I’m even more excited to see what the years will bring as our kids expand their thinking.

After the breakfast I was able to visit my daughter’s local elementary school for career day and share with 1st graders what it means to be a maker, teacher, and librarian. I loved what Mr. Reeves said (and I’m still trying to remember it word for word!) so much that I tried to use a lot of what he said when I spoke with the 7 year olds at the elementary.

I made sure to tell them that as a high school librarian I teach kids to love reading, but I also teach kids how to research and try to solve problems. Not just personal things, but we can research community problems and try to solve them too because it’s our world and we can make it better. I also teach my high schoolers how to think like an inventor by learning how things work and how to make things themselves. Plus, I mentioned to my amazing audience that I am an author and showed them some of the projects that Aaron and I made for our book, along with a zombie paper circuit finger puppet I made after hacking my friend Bev Ball’s super amazing instructions.

The first-graders said, “So, you’re an inventor?”

“Oh, I’ve never thought of myself as that.” (I always call myself a maker- not an inventor.)

When I showed them paper circuits they said, “Cool, it’s like science and technology!” To which I excitedly replied…. “Yes, I love to combine science, technology, and art to make new or cool stuff.”  During the Q&A, they asked if we could make something today. It’s too bad our time was too short.

I told the 1st graders that there is awesomeness locked inside of all of us. And I truly believe that every student has amazing ideas, sometimes we just have to work to help them unlock it. (Last year Jay Silver told my 6th graders this and I found it so empowering and so true! Our kids need to hear it more often.) I made them all shout, “We are Awesome!” at the end of my talk because 1st graders are awesome at yelling in unison!

The best part of the day, was my own little sweetie hugging on me and telling me, “Thank you for coming to my school, mommy!”




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