We Need YOU!

Big thanks to our current volunteers, Mrs. Smith-Bacon and Mrs. Bailey (with student Library Media helper daughter Abby!) for their help this year and being so generous and amazing!

We’d love to have you join us in all the fun!  Look at these cute faces!

Contact Ms. Jones Gwyneth_Jones @at hcpss.org if you’re interested and for more information!

WE Really Appreciate ALL of our Family Volunteer!

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Dr. King: A True Servant Leader

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.”

@JamesHPerry

Powerful words.

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

from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

 

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Welcome Back to School!

Welcome Back Kiddos, Parents, & Families!

Happy 20th Anniversary Murray Hill!

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!

Please follow us on Instagram and on Vine!

I will try and share all the amazing things that happen every day here at MHMS.

Like the fun we have during recess in the Library Media Center! Here are some of my wacky 8th graders from last year who are now Freshmen in High School!

We also LOVE Instagram Shelfies!

Shrutina & her #Shelfie for #springbreak reading! @hcpss_mhms kids LOVE to read #CelebrateHCPSS

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Dom & his #Shelfie a Mike Lupica book! @hcpss_mhms #tlchat #celebratehcpss w/ mustache bookmark!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

 

Creations and highlights from our Makerspace Area!

Josiah & his. Awesome #Lego creation at the @hcpss_mhms

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

and our Coloring Corner!

Nyah G in 8th grade showing off her #ColorMyFro artistry! @hcpss_mhms #STEAM #MAKERED #makerspace #art

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Updated Coloring Corner Guidelines- let’s see if my six graders notice! LOL #MAKERED #makerspace

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!

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Awesome high school peeps come back to visit make every librarian and very happy!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Former @hcpss_mhms student Carlos comes back to visit he’s off to NYU next year! w00t!

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Especially when they’re teachers now, themselves!

Happiness is: Having a former student come back as a graduate & a sub in your school! ❤️ @shawada22

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

But wait! There’s More!

The following are student, parent, and community resources I want to bring to your attention.

hcpss-connect-banner16This page will also feature our new HCPSS Parent Portal – HCPSS Connect

Research_Databases3.jpg

Don’t forget our Research Databases Wikpage helps with homework & school projects!

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#X Before You Drive

HashtagX#ItCanWait

From our MHTV correspondent  8th grader the awesome Stephanie J.

“AWESOMENESS TV and many of your favorite celebrities, including James Maslow, Demi Lovato and R5, have joined the movement to stop texting and driving and you should, too! Check out this video featuring some of your favorite YouTubers.

Weekly Chris looked pretty good in that video, am I right ladies? (Steph’s words, not mine!)  So how can you join the movement? Go to itcanwait.com and take the pledge. Spread the word and make this known!  #itcanwait

Thanks Steph!

Visit the site to take the pledge, get more information, and MAKE Your Own MEME! Click below to see ours!

Parents & Grownups: So what’s all this AwesomenessTV about? Check it out

 

 

Top 10 Things to Think About Before You Post

We have some great friends at the website Flocabulary and we love what they’ve been creating lately with super engaging rap songs & videos tied in with the CCSS! (Common Core State Standards) We’ve been using their Week in Rap news feature in our school since they landed on the hip hop education scene in 2008! Murray Hill even earned a video shout out last year! W00t! (We were SO proud!)

So, when I heard that they were teaming up with the awesome Common Sense Media people, to put out a music video about Digital Citizenship, – I was SO there! I’ve been on Twitter now (professionally – not personally)  for 6 years, and I have an AMAZING & generous personal learning network of followers – so being careful, upbeat, positive and mindful of what I Tweet is important to me, too! I don’t use Facebook – we just never got along. We have been loving us some Vine Video in our school, since we experimented and createdvideo book trailers last year (see our previous post) – so it’s not about what kind of social media you use but HOW you use it! I think you’ll like the video – let me know in the comments!



We all want our kiddos to make good choices online! We’ve already shared this video on our daily MHTV Live! News show – we just wanted to share it with you!

Cheers!

~Gwyneth Jones – Your Daring Librarian!

Callin’ All Ballerz!

Join us! GCES Staff vs. MHMS Staff – for an Epic Basketball Game!

On Friday, April 4th at 7pm we will be having a staff vs. staff basketball game against our neighbors Gorman Crossing.

Tickets must be purchased in advance – no ticket sales at the door!

For more information contact our coach: Ms. Sara Tagliaferri  or Sara_Tagliaferri@hcpss.org

Doors open at 6:30

UPDATE:
Packed House!

Team Photo:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A True Servant Leader

As an educator 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.”

@JamesHPerry 

Powerful words.

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 “me” but of “we.”  We also must model these values and these practices for our students.

All educators, indeed, all school staff, must work together to model and teach teens that taking responsibility for our lives gives us total power in creating the kind of life we want for ourselves. Taking personal responsibility and thinking of the community. Over the years I’ve seen our students rally to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Haiti relief,  and yearly for the underprivileged in our community. I am proud of our kiddos, we’ve done well…but we can always do better!

Which brings me back full circle as to why I posted the words from page 333 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret on our library wall this year:

“It is our choice…that show what we truly are, far more than our
abilities” ~ Albus Dumbledore

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

from 7 Timeless Thoughts on Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Let’s be inspired by the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr not just on his birthday – but every day – throughout the year!

 

(Originally posted on the MHMS Media Blog: Martin Luther King, Jr: A True Servant Leader  Jan 18, 2010)

10 Super Geeky Tips for the New Year


Resolutions are usually hard to keep..but there are a few easily done things that feel great for a SUPER GEEKY SAFE….errm Aware! New Year. (There is no *safe* on the Interwebs, only Aware!)

(click above for a larger size or download PDF it here)
1. Change your passwords. Yes, ALL of them.
According to CNN Tech an 8 digit password can be hacked in 2 hours but a 12 character password would take 17 years. Use this handy NEW! Comic Tutorial to create a really super new password for every website….don’t worry, there’s a trick! Oh and in the small print I said 3 important things – Change your passwords twice a year, have a different password for Facebook that you don’t use for ANYwhere else because FB’s security is notoriously unreliable (and the bank, too), and as a disclaimer – I’m not a security expert and nothing is foolproof.

2. Check your Browser’s History & Dump your cache, cookies
Parents: If you’re a concerned & want to see what is being viewed on your home computers – check your browser history. Then, at least once a year (I try quarterly) go around to every computer you use public & private -and dump the cache, clear your cookies, & browsing history. Just in case visitors or workers in the home can get into your private business. Also, I would not recommend instant password acceptance on your email, social networks,  or banking institutions.

3. Consolidate your Flashdrives
We all have a gajillion flashdrives floating around from 128mg’s to 16gb’s. Lazy Way: Gather them all up and create a folder on your external HD called flashdrive backups (or one folder per flashdrive) and drag all the stuff in there. Smart Way: Go through all those flashdrives & trash anything you really don’t need & save only the archive worthy stuff. While you’re at it – are those drives named? Do you have an .RTF doc on it that says “If found, Please Read” with your contact information? This might be a good time to get those on there. I give every new teacher to my school a new 4G flashdrive and yeah, sometimes they lose them. So, even though it’s super easy to carry around & save stuff in a pinch, you wanna give yourself a chance to get it back if lost. Now… throw some of those old flashdrives away & go on to the next tip.
dropbox.JPG4. Forget the flashdrive try the cloud!
Now that you’ve backed up your flashdrives consider using Dropbox, Amazon Prime storage, iCloud, or Google docs to save your stuff! Don’t have Dropbox? Get it by using THIS SPECIAL SECRET SQUIRREL LINK to register for dropbox & and you’ll get EXTRA FREE SPACE!  (it’s a geeky pyramid scheme but so worth it!) Dropbox allows you store your files online, easily share files with others, and sync your documents with multiple computers and mobile devices. I have it on my iPad and all my Macs both home and at school! This is a must have tool for educators! It’s Free, Convenient, and Saves Time!
5. Edit your privacy settings & friendships
Facebook is notoriously changing their privacy settings – Google “latest facebook privacy settings” to read blogs with advice to double check that you’re sharing what you want to share. Consider what you share and who you share it with. Also, look at your friends – are you really friends with them? Or are they friends of friends? Friends of friends are NOT friends. “While considering what’s private and public, take time to evaluate what a “friend,” “contact” or “follower” means to you and what types of information you share with different groups.” (Quoted from the super AWEsome )

6. Walk wisely. We all should be good role models for our kids & students about what kind of footprints we’re leaving on the Intarwebs. Google your name, your child’s name, (“your name” add state) and see what comes up. It is up to us to create a positive digital footprint, one that we can show future education institutions, employers, and the future.

7. Buy your name. (or your kids name!) 
For $10 bucks a year you can own your own domain through Google Apps. You don’t want to be the last person who has their own domain or let someone else get it. I was lazy in this, I considered it back in the late 90’s – went with Angelfire instead. That was stooopid. Wish I had grabbed Gwyneth Jones before the Welsh Opera singer & the Sci Fi YA Author! Ahh well! Now I have 2 domains!

8. Clean out your Apps!
If you have a smart phone, iPad, or tablet review the APPS you have downloaded. Are you still using them? If not, they’re taking up valuable memory & space and could be slowing down your phone or tablet. Also delete old versions of Apps. I had a lot of “lite” FREE versions of Apps I later went & bought. (Like yes, Angry Birds & Air Penguin) Save space  and get better performance by cleaning once a year!

9. Go digital with your photos
Using a site like Flickr or Picasa you can save your digital moments & share them with family and friends. Uploads can be either public or private (or to family, friends, groups, etc.)  “Flickr has some similar qualities to Facebook, such as “contacts” (friends), comment postings, private messages can be sent, there are groups anyone can join, blogs can be maintained, Flickr can be operated via cell phone or computer, and there are even more mutual features.” Directions from:  Setting Up an Online Photo Gallery with Flickr


10. Back up your data.
“Hacks and hardware failures happen. Before this year gets going, make sure as much of your data as possible is protected. From calendars and contacts to blog posts and work projects, more and more of us are relying on networks of servers and startups to keep us running. So, now might be a good time to download and back up files of your contacts and blog posts – anything that’s valuable to you and portable.” Get a big external HD but also burn to CD or DVD the really important stuff because I’ve had externals die on me. And yeah, the cloud is awesome, but I’m not ready to give over yet completely! LOL “Think of it this way: You – or at least parts of you – live in the Internet. If the Internet caught on fire, what would you grab to carry with you out of the blaze?(Quoted, inspired & adapted from the super AWEsome )

What are the geeky things that you do that we can learn from?
Please comment your suggestions, corrections, & additions! Thank you dear readers!

And……Happy New Year!
BEST Christmas Presents EVER!
Oh and though Santa got me an iPad2 for Christmas, don’t tell him but here are the best presents I got this year from 2 students featuring a Ninja Squirrel & Ninja Bacon, & one fabulous kid blogger – my friend Hagan! (click for larger images)


(check out Ninja Bacon! My kids know I love Ninjas!)

Lastly, thank you to everyone who voted for this blog as Edublogs Best Librarian Blog– we were only 16 votes away from winning! Maybe someday! But seriously, having this conversation with you is the real prize! For reals! Thank you!
(not that I’m not gonna pimp my blog with those fab badges! Love me some badges!)

–Credits & Resources
Creating and Remembering Complex Passwords by Alex Jones (not my nephew!)
The Ultimate Guide for Creating Strong Passwords – Some of these suggestions seem impossible but I got great ideas here.
The top 50 passwords you should never use | Naked Security
8 Things Every Geek Needs to Do Before 2010
Five New Years Resolution Suggestions.
Baby Cthulhu Squishable a gift from my dear friend Dr. Gelving Obolensky of New Babbage. Thanks darlin! He, I will NEVER Prune from my PLN tree!

Flashdrive pic from: bamalibrarylady Tamara Evans