Sidewalk Plaque, New York Public Library
Welcome to my e–Portfolio. You are now viewing the home page of my website, for which I live in gratitude to my Library 240 Introduction to Technology class. I had some lingering frustration with the structure of that class which evaporated forever when I examined the convoluted process for producing a very plain e–Portfolio on Angel. This was doubly true after we heard that Angel would be discontinued and would not even host our portfolios after this semester. Using the skills I learned in 240, I was able to construct a simple but personalized permanently hosted web site, where my portfolio will be accessible to anyone interested for as long as I choose to display it.
In the basic format used by this site, my Professional Philosophy, Competencies and my Conclusion are all accessible through the links on the right side of any page. For every Competency, references are listed at the end of the essay, and the files or links for evidence of my competency are listed in order of mention at the bottom of the page.
At the start of this process I found that the Competency topics were so broad and intertwined that I wasn’t sure where to begin. I often found it helpful to begin my writing with some artefact, quote, or interesting conjunction, to jog my mind away from the tight focus of grad school and connect to the world beyond, and life after online education. In this way I have tried to understand the applications and importance of my new competencies at the same time as I attempt to demonstrate them. I hope reviewers will have patience with my excursive process and find in this portfolio a reflection of my continuous thoughtful engagement with the program and my ultimate growth.
I have read other grad school narratives which describe how a humble plan to teach high school expanded to loftier goals as the writer learned and grew more confident—my story follows an opposite, if circular path. I have been a high school teacher for 20 years. I enjoy my students and the classroom work of teaching, but I hate grading papers twelve hours every weekend. I noticed that our school librarian, though always to be seen hard at work during the school day, walks out on Friday with nothing but a lunch bag (I did learn in SLIS that in our digital age this appearance was probably deceptive). I idolize scholarship and love research. I thought I would like to work in what I saw as a more prestigious academic library or, having some related experience, perhaps become a law librarian. With a nearly completed Master’s in English reproaching me, I looked forward to the education beyond SLIS I would need to pursue such goals. In fact, I still look forward to furthering my subject education, but my library plans have changed. Thanks to some of my SLIS experiences, I realized first, that academic research librarian is not the job for me, and finally, that I would like to be a high school or K-12 librarian. Or, if there’s another library job that offers an equal opportunity to benefit youth and my community, is fast–paced and high energy, supports education through personal connection, and occasionally gives me the chance to go to work dressed like Glinda the Good Witch, I would consider that work too.
I teach English and Forensics (Speech and Debate) at Sonoma Valley High School,and am also a graduate of the school. Like many California schools, Sonoma is struggling to repurpose itself to better serve a changing population. Sonoma is a unified school district—in addition to our one high school there are two middle schools and five elementary sites. District–wide the high school librarian is the only actual qualified and certificated librarian. All the other libraries are run independently by library technicians, who, very unfortunately, are universally referred to as ‘librarians’. Our high school librarian, Nancy McEnery, was very supportive and helpful to me throughout my SLIS semesters. She agreed to supervise my work at both library levels. Once that problem was resolved, it was easy for me to create a placement where I have so many connections. I split my elementary hours between two K– 5 schools: Flowery, a dual immersion school in a low–income area of the affluent Sonoma Valley, and Dunbar, a remote rural campus with an expanding Latino language–learner population.
I have organized the presentation of my experiences at these schools in a way I hope will be easy to follow. The right side of each web page contains links to all the content pages. Each competency link is labelled—the first three are labelled separately for elementary and secondary. On the page for each competency I have presented at the bottom the evidence for my progress in that competency.The elementary and secondary logs are also listed separately, and the conclusion follows all.
All standards quotes used on the site are from:
Commission on Teacher Credentialing,State of California (1991, March 25).Standards of program quality and effectiveness and factors to consider in the evaluation of library media teacher programs. Retrieved from www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-prep/standards/library.pdf