As Sophia (the delightfully cheerful girl above) reported on MHTV News we must share something distasteful with you.
Why? Because I recently awoke feeling a dreadful malaise and a lingering doleful fear about something I just uncovered. When I say “uncover” imagine turning over a mossy rock expecting cute wriggly earth worms and rolly polly pill bugs only to find a suspect piece of butterscotch candy wrapped in a soggy cellophane wrapper…well, read below for our news story.
Oh, and don’t be angry with me OR with the smiley Sophia…we HAD to give this news to give you pause!
Here’s the Script:
We here at #MHTVNews usually like to share uplifting and heartwarming stories about young people who joyfully create amazing things and are rewarded for their Scientific, Literary, Artistic, and or Academic Achievements.
Today not so much.
We’re here to give a warning that there is a pernicious, which means here deadly, and terrifying new series now available for streaming onthis thing called The Netflix.
The Series of Unfortunate Events
by Lemony Snicket.
(And as a wry aside, may I add that this is surely a silly name for a terribly sinister author! I met him once in 2004, at the Howard County Public Library – He signed a book for me and though I was introduced to him by one of my favourite students as the Evil Daring Librarian Ms. Jones – he said I was only Allegedly Evil! As if! [snit] /a)
Please don’t watch this next video if you are sensitive by nature.
You can look away now.
Of course, we have all the books in this horrid series in the Murray Hill Daring School Library Media Center, we consider that fair warning so that you may read them, if you are so inclined, to be properly prepared. They are terrible books of horrible events and only appreciated by those who are slightly tetched in the heid (Scottish variety) or bloodthirsty.
Again, you’ve been warned.
Oh and Count Olaf? We’re keeping a weather eye on you, you can be sure of that! No more sneaking around and hiding in my Library Office.
I was touched by this timeless Huffington Post article from Mr. James Perry, once mayoral candidate and the the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center:
“Among the most important lessons I’ve learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community.
It is easy to spot servant leaders. In a room where others are jockeying for attention, they are the ones listening to someone others might consider unimportant. When faced with a problem, they look for solutions that benefit everyone. When something goes wrong, they take the blame. When things go well, they share the credit. They tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. They know that they don’t have all the answers, so they seek advice from others. They work hard and inspire others to do the same.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation.
Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation.
There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires.”
As educators, we have the honor to teach the next generation of servant leaders. It is our job, duty, and privilege to instill in them the passion to effect change and the empathy to think outside themselves. To inspire them to think not of the “me” but of the”we.”
I passionately believe that we also must be a model for these values and these practices for our students. So that the kids can see that we, as teachers, administrators, and all staff, follow these values and give of ourselves for the betterment of others and the world.
To take responsibility for our own actions and mistakes. We’re human. We stumble, we fail, we make mistakes and we fall on our face. Show the kids that we pick ourselves up, acknowledge our fails, apologize, and move on. How can we ask them to be accountable and take responsibility if we don’t do that, too? I knew a teacher once (now, thankfully retired) who said he would NEVER apologize to a kid or a class even if he was wrong because he would lose “power.” I heartily disagree! I think we are seen as more powerful when we say, “Wow, I was wrong about that, I’m so sorry!” Or try the classic “You were right and was wrong” [you can also add a pretend heart attack] to a kid or a class. But do we always remember or take that high road. Nope.
It’s OK To Make Mistakes! I do it all the time!
Case in point. This morning, I was a blockhead and messed up part of our daily #MHTVNews program by forgetting to queue up and show an inspiring video (embedded above) that our Principal Mr. Wilson shared with us last Sunday for today’s Friday show. After the show, when he asked me about why it wasn’t shown, I drew a blank for a few seconds then I totally threw Mr. Dunbar under the bus (’cause it was his show today & he forgot, too!) I was mortified! Is it just old age? GAH! How did I, or we, forget that!? (See? how humans try to make excuses and push the blame around?)
But Mr. Wilson, was SO kind and understanding, and said we could show it on Tuesday. Whew! Sorry Mr. Wilson! Sorry Mr. Dunbar! It’s on me! It was my fault! See? Even when we know it’s the right thing to do, or forget, taking responsibility for a gaffe is difficult. Especially with a boss (or a parent!) It’s a lifelong struggle to be a good person and do the right thing! But it’s SO worth it! Let’s share that with our kiddos and admit our occasional (or, in my case, daily) foibles and move on, lesson learned. Again.
Model Charity and Good Works
Our students should also see us as being charitable with our community, helping others, giving of time, effort, or funds to support those that need it. Not in a flashy or “look at me” kind of way, but just to help get things done because it’s the right and good thing to do.
Over the years I’ve seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief, and yearly for crisis intervention in our community by supporting Grassroots of Howard County. I am SO proud of our kiddos, we’ve done well…but we can always do better!
This is why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall:
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”
~ Albus Dumbledore
Let’s be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday – but every day – throughout the year!
More inspiring words on responsibility:
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.” ~ Albert Einstein
“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.” ~ Sophocles
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” ~ Denis Waitley
That means, the 8th grade kiddos I taught when we opened Murray Hill back in 1997 would now be in their 30’s! Whaaaat? That’s Crazy! But seriously, I am SO honored to have been a part of this community since the beginning. I never thought I was one of those teachers who would stay in the same school for like, forever!
But here I am, still happy, loving our quirky middle school kiddos and the vibrant and rich diversity of our neighborhood! I also like that I live near our community and only have to drive 7 minutes to get here!
This year is going to be both fantastic and challenging! Ms. Bell, our amazing Media Assistant, is still not with us full time. But, we’re grateful for any time we’re given to support our awesome Library and Literacy program here at MHMS. A big thanks to our wonderful new Principal Mr. Wilson for valuing our program and letting Ms. Bell work with our kiddos in the mornings whenever she can in between her other duties as a paraeducator.
We’re both a “cup half full” kinda people! And our mantra for this and every year is borrowed from the esteemed fashion educator & Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn – WE like to “Make it work!”
A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on
Speaking of making and working I’m excited to set up again our ever evolving Makerspace Station at MHMS in our Daring School Library Media Center for the third year! We’re going to be adding more stations, robotics, technology and opportunities to create, make, craft, design, code, and construct in our school!
One of the BEST Things Ever? When former students come back to visit!
Thanks to our our A+ partner Librarians at the Howard County Library and two of our local HCPSS Middle School Teacher-Librarians we have created this Super Fun Reading List for all the kiddos in our district! (or the world!)
Visit our local library the Savage Branch & Hi Tech STEM Education Center this summer and FLIP over summer reading or flip over some amazing tech learning opportunities!
The MHMS Library Media Center has a cool new feature! BYOD Charging Lockers – so you can securely charge, store, & retrieve your electronic devices!
Still the same small print: Your Device, Your Responsibility.
But it’s super cool – like a hotel room safe you enter a 4 digit code of your choice, lock, and then put in that same code to unlock!
But don’t forget your 4 numbers – I do have a bypass key but this charging community is going to count on your remembering your numbers. ALL lockers will be opened at the end of the day – any leftover cell phones or tablets will be sold on eBay! This is my retirement plan…Muuwaaaa!
Just kidding. Please remember to take your device home with you.
For more information about these charging lockers check out the Touchboards website or the main LockNCharge website!
Ms. Sarah Cooke Teens’ Instructor410-313-0760 main 410-313-0752 office
From our Friends at the Maryland Science Center:
By popular demand, and to coincide with Baltimore’s gigantic outdoor light celebration Light City, Laser Rock shows return to the dome of the planetarium. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and all the classic rock favorites provide the soundtrack for a spectacular laser light show and special effects in 360 degree surround sound.
Laser Beatles will play daily at 1:30pm and is included with admission. Evening laser shows will run Sunday-Thursday at 6:45pm and 7:45pm, and
Friday & Saturday at 6:45pm, 7:45pm, and 8:45pm.
Pricing for evening shows is $8.00, add a second show for only $4.00.
I wanted to highlight another aspect of our new Makerspace area – an area for creation and creativity. For making, coloring, and relaxing with investigative play. The LEGO station has been very popular!
When I started up the area, I didn’t have any rules, I just said to the kids “here’s all this cool stuff, some books for inspiration, play with it, figure it out, and have fun!” …..but after a couple months of a wasted materials (ex: uncompleted duct tape raincoats that ended up in a huge sticky ball) and some messy LEGO behavior, I realized we did indeed need a few guidelines.
Here they are:—–
(View all sizes – feel free to print & use – it’s Creative Commons!) Here’s what it says:
As part of our Lego Creation Station Community, we have a few guidelines that you must agree to:
Be willing to create and build with another student.
Put ALL STRAY LEGO Pieces away
before you leave- That’s nice!
You must agree that your creations belong to the Library Media Center and with the understood permission that we may Instagram, Vine, Photograph, Blog, Tweet, & share your creations to the world. They may also be taken apart by another student to make another creation. That’s the way of the LEGO.
If you’re not having fun, being nice, neat, generous, sharing, and cool – we may ask you to leave our Makerspace community. That’s on you.
So be cool – don’t be all uncool! Thank you!
Simple stuff, really! So the kids would feel ownership & a buy into these guidelines, I crowdsourced with the kiddos during recess to make the list, & then added my own twist to it – with a little help from the Countess LuAnn De LesSeps for the all uncool part!
When Can Kiddos Visit the Makerspace?
Kids can come to the Library before home room, during any class with a pass when they finish their work (standardized testing permitting), and during most all recess times – coverage permitting. (I have 7th grade lunch duty so I rely on volunteers during my shift) This is a time for them to check out books, read, recharge their devices, play games, and work with the Makerspace stations! It’s not quiet. And thats….OK!
There is no “makerspace class” per se, it’s a resource kids can come to when they have time. It’s been used as a reward for some of our kids who need a little educational bribery err….incentives! (and LEGOS’s & coloring cause cavities!). Most of our kiddos really respond to it very positively. I even got a kiddo to to finish his MAP test who was ready to give up by saying he could work with the LEGOS afterwards if he did his very best.
Come visit our LEGO Creation Station and Makerspace area the next time you’re in Murray Hill and if you have any old unwanted LEGO pieces laying around, and you feel compelled to donate them, we’d be super grateful!
Murray Hill Middle School has been supporting coding, creating, & robotics for years – so when the National Hour of Code week was announced we were stoked to support and join in! This year’s theme tapped into pop culture and the latest Star Wars frenzy and as long time fans of the franchise were were saying “Yes, Please!”
I had an offer to buy an early release of the Sphero BB8 – so I nabbed one for our school (don’t worry parents, I used my own money! lol) Kiddos LOVE BB8 – check out our Vine Videos showing kids in action learning how to program and run BB8!
Hour of Code week may be over but it’s never to late to explore how cool it is to learn computer code and have fun with it. The links to games and coding challenges are below!
Corralling BB8 in Mr. Dunbar’s room with our Robotics Team!