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.


7 thoughts on “Making it Up As We Go

  1. Lisa,

    Great post, Lisa! I love it! Yes, we often hear, “fake it until you make it.” I watched a TED Talk the other week and the person speaking talked about “fake it until you believe it!” It was actually quite interesting. True though. The whole process is difficult, trying, and confusing. On the other side, it is exciting, interesting, powerful, and difference-making. When we weigh out the positives and negatives, we must keep on keeping on. We must “keep on making it up as we go”.

    I love the idea of “connection development” rather than “collection development”. When I think of the power of connections for our fellow-educators and for our students, it is quite amazing to think about the possibilities. Yes, we need to experiment together, make mistakes, support one another, troubleshoot together, and succeed together. It should not be a competition – it should be about collaboration!

    You are so inspiring, Lisa! I look forward to looking at the iTunesU Course you are all developing. What a great resource it will be for many others, I’m sure!

    It sure is nice to see you blogging, Lisa. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Talk soon,

    • Tia,
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response to my first blogpost on this blog. Next time I see you, I’ll show you what we are up to as TLs on our iTunesU course iLibrary. It is exciting times for #sd36learn and for the world as educators because we are now all connected by social media. I love the big ideas you are exploring in your blog and I look forward to writing more posts. Ideas for posts exist in my head, journal books, multicoloured stickies and napkins. Now I just have to write them into begin. I can’t remember who said that as we write, we write ourselves into begin as well. Thanks for your encouragement amiga.
      Be well,

  2. I’d love to discuss your Lib Sci course sometime. Maybe a Skype? So far we carry all these needy little kids along with assorted IDS but not a full LS curricula. I’d like to look at that. It’s something we just never seem to manage.

    • Al,
      I would love to discuss our iLibrary iTunes U course with you and also send you our Library Science (BAA locally developped courses) course outlines. My team and I would love to collaborate with you about our iLibrary course. I’m thinking I should just crowd source the course since it will be open to eveyone in the world soon. You can subscribe to our course and get updates as we add things. I will email you the link to show you what we are working on. Remind me on Twitter if I forget as I am home sick as a dog but I can still type.
      Be well,
      P.S. Perhaps we should just adopt you as an official #sd36learn TL. We have already adopted @ChrisWejr so why not you?

  3. Well done Lisa! Glad to see your feet are on the ground, your compass is pointing forward (and backward and forward) as it should and you are collecting the tiny bits of fear, shaping them into Courage and going ahead with sharing your learning journey! Exciting times at Clayton and beyond…

    • Amy,
      Thanks as always for your stellar advice and encouragement.
      Irisa Hail said, “Courage is tiny pieces of fear glued together”.
      This quote is quickly becoming my motto!
      I hope you are well.
      Take care,

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