Making it Up As We Go

Photo: Lisa Domeier de Suarez

Most of the time as educators, we try to act like we have it all together. Well, this is so tiring. Also saying “fake it until you make it” is deceptive as well. If we model this state of “everything is fine”, students and colleagues never see how messy and beautiful learning really is. I’ve been reading and thinking a great deal about innovation this past year and to be innovative is to be perceived by others as a bit loony. You have to envision what is not yet there. This takes courage as others will critique what you are doing as it is easier to sit on the educational side lines and heckle.

Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together. ~Terri Guillemets

I’m sitting at my kitchen on this early, cold February morning re-editing this post that I started last October. What happened? Life! Part of being a dreamer is the necessity to put my feet back on this earth to complete tasks. So here we go..

Since September 2012 at Clayton Heights Secondary, we have been continuing the evolution of our library space into a Learning Commons. The idea of the library as an open, welcoming space for learning is nothing new but the idea of open access and digital production is. I have to fight my Teacher Librarian (TL) tendency to “serve & protect” the collection as the very idea of the collection has been transformed.  I can’t repair the binding on a Wikipedia page as it doesn’t exist. I have gone back to our Learning Commons after more than a year away working as a Helping Teacher for Library and Information Media Literacy (IML) in #sd36learn and I’m enjoying being back in our learning libratory where learning can be loud, unrehearsed, and innovative. I can dream up all kinds of ideas for the space but what is much more interesting is how our staff, administration and students are envisioning changes. Some days it seems like a morass of half done projects but when you peer under the surface a creative chaos shaped by many notions of design, creation, and whimsy emerges.

Since last fall, I’ve been re-working the Library Science courses with Surrey Teacher Librarians (TLs) Martha Cameron and Heather Bramhill into an iTunesU course called iLibrary.  At our first working session, we started talking about now we are working more on connection development rather than just collection development. How can we become more of a place where we all collaborate and create knowledge together? We already have a great library at Clayton but the sky really is the limit. Perhaps our Learning Commons can become more a space where we experiment together instead of playing it safe. How can we demand this of our students if we are not willing to do the same? So here’s to making it up as we go. Just jump in and then figure it out.