Happy Valentine’s Day! My name is Buffy Edwards and I have the privilege of blogging this week. What a perfect time for me to talk about two things I really like, chocolate and Guided Inquiry.
I love chocolate. Chocolate, that amazing treat that seems to just make things better, gives you the boost to keep going, and helps you think. That sounds like GID! I love Guided Inquiry. Guided Inquiry, that amazing process that helps students take ownership in their learning, helps them keep digging into their projects because of Third Space connections, and helps them become critical thinkers. So to me, this is a win-win combination.
Time flies when you are having fun! I am so happy to be back on the 52-weeks Guided Inquiry Blog-thank you Dr. Leslie Maniotes for this opportunity. About a year ago, I had the pleasure of ‘co-blogging’ here with my friend and colleague Kelsey Barker, Teacher Librarian, Longfellow Middle School, Norman, Oklahoma. Together, we shared the process of how a GID team of Teacher Librarians in the Norman Public Schools District developed a GID science unit that would be implemented by 5th grade teachers across the district. The complete post about the science unit can be viewed here.
So that’s really where my interest and involvement with GID started, with the Norman Public Schools (NPS), Norman, OK where I served as the District Library Information Specialist and Teacher Librarian at Dimensions Academy, a k-12 alternative education school. Here’s the link to my earlier blog post where you can learn more about me! The NPS District provided 3-day GID institutes with Dr. Maniotes where teams of teachers and Teacher Librarians came together to learn about GID and develop units of instruction for implementation at schools across the district. (You can read more about the district implementation process on this blog post). Norman Schools has certainly designed a national model for training teachers and Teacher Librarians for implementing GID. Thank you NPS for the incredible opportunity of being trained by the master of GID herself, Dr. Leslie Maniotes.
You might be wondering why the past tense with ‘served’ as Library Information Specialist and Teacher Librarian. I retired. Short, to the point, I retired. 29 years working in school libraries and I treasure every moment of my experiences and career. Now you might be thinking ahhhhh retirement. That time in your life when you hang up your hat, stay up late, sleep late, be free from commitment and responsibility and just kick back and relax. Nope, not this “retired” Teacher LIbrarian. You see for about 15 of those 29 years I have also been teaching online graduate courses, in my spare time, ha ha! When I took off my full-time K-12 teacher librarian hat, I put on a higher education instructor hat, now having time to work with even more fantastic graduate students in colleges of educations and schools of library and information studies. In addition to teaching online courses, I also visit students and former students in the field observing, sharing ideas, suggesting strategies and ideas about best practice and instruction and rolling up my sleeves to help with weeding, packing,and rearranging physical spaces and really anything else that needs to be done. How lucky am I? Sharing my passion for the profession, teaching and learning, and, yes, you guessed it, Guided Inquiry Design. I am so very lucky and I feel fortunate to have these opportunities. Some may think that retirement means it’s time to quit and be done and that you may be finished with the profession and career. I would argue it can be quite the contrary – it’s the time that you can take your work and profession to the next level, change lanes, shift gears, and share invaluable knowledge and experiences from an entirely new perspective.
This is me with my fuzzy friend,12 year old Rugby. He’s an Australian Shepherd adopted from Second Chance – in the last two years he has lost his sight but certainly not his spirit!
My interaction with Guided Inquiry is quite interesting because I have the experience of implementing Guided Inquiry at Dimensions Academy (k-12 alternative education) in Norman, OK, being a part of the district-wide implementation of GID in Norman, writing about GID professionally, and teaching future teachers and librarians about GID. In my earlier post, I shared some information about a unit at Dimensions Academy that allowed students the opportunity to earn multiple-credits toward graduation, I will talk a little more about GID related to that experience as well as other units and the impact it had on students. You see, I believe that GID is appropriate and successful with all types of kids and will share more about the impact GID had our learners and why I am such a believer in the process!
Thanks for reading today and now………… it’s time for some chocolate!
Buffy Edwards, PhD, MLIS
Online College Professor
Chocolate photo from Google Images: (https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=651&q=chocolate&oq=chocolate&gs_l=img.3..0l10.8944.10800.0.11076.11.9.0.220.127.116.118.526.2-2.2.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..8.3.546.0.x_WRIs-Ji3w#imgrc=007–mIW6Xqn2M🙂