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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Fall STEM Opportunities at HiTech

Here are the splendid FALL FREE Offerings at our local STE(A)M HiTech Center at the Savage Branch Library!

Here are the related links since the graphics above aren’t clickable!

Registration & More Information

Got Questions? Ask our friendly neighborhood Teen Librarian:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
Howard County Library System — Savage Branch
410-313-0760 main
410-313-0752 office

Hey Kiddos! Try the FREE Escape from Detention Game App!

Read about it!

GET IT!

 

There’s Pokemon Hiding in our Library!

Objective: Capitalizing on the engagement of the PokemonGo App game, students will use digital devices and QR Codes to explore the Library Media Center and discover important sections, features, and resources and reveal hidden and very RARE (& beloved) Pokémon.  Kids got a real big kick out of it!

After Media Orientation, kiddos used their BYOD devices to search out the clues and find these rascally Pokemon by scanning QR Codes!

Searching for the QR Codes that revealed the hiding Pokemon, they also learned about all the important areas of our School Library Media Center!

If you’re a Teacher Librarian or a Classroom Teacher and would like to learn more about this activity, along with lesson plan and printables, visit The Daring Librarian blog!

 

Gotta catch ’em all!

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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Summer Reading List!

The Summer Reading List is Here!

View the HCPSS Middle School Summer Reading List

or download the PDF!

middle-school-reading-list-2016

View ALL the Reading Lists on our HCPSS Media Homepage!

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!

 

Kai & #mustache bookmark #Shelfie from @hcpss_mhms #celebratehcpss

A photo posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on


Bonus!

For a FREE ARC Book when we come back in August:

Take a Shelfie (selfie holding a book) and Instagram it tagging me @thedaringlibrarian

After School Ends, Look for the

Summer Reading List Display

in the Front Office!

Charging Lockers & BYOD

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.

Enjoy!

For more information about these charging lockers check out the Touchboards website or the main LockNCharge website!

Spring Break STEM Classes: HiTech @Savage

Hello spring peepers!
I just got some great news from from Ms. Cooke – our Teens’ Instructor, Howard County Library System at the Savage Branch

FREE  HiTech STEM classes offered over spring break! Wait, Did I mention it was FREE?

Register online or by calling 410-313-0760.

View the PDF or see the graphic at top.
For more information contact:
Ms. Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
410-313-0760 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.

Show schedule changes daily. 

Click here for a list of laser shows and featured tracks.

The Way of the Lego

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: 
Share 
 Be willing to create and build with another student. 
Be neat 
Put ALL STRAY LEGO Pieces away 
before you leave- That’s nice! 
Celebrity Status
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. 
Have Fun! 
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!

Star Wars and the Hour of Code

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!

Hour of Code Themes

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Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code

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Explore a Minecraft world through Code

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Angry Birds – Games 1-11 (2014)

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Plants Vs. Zombies Games 12-20 (2014)

The Zen of Coloring

 

There’s a NEW! feature in our Library Media Center Makerspace area!

It’s Coloring!

I have to admit when I first heard about how coloring books for adults and teens are all the rage, I was a bit skeptical. Then I saw the beautiful new coloring books with loopy, fabulous, mesmerizing line drawings and I was sold! I also just like the smell of a new box of Crayons!

I then did some research on the Zen of Coloring and found out that teens find coloring very relaxing, meditative, and stress relieving – perfect for middle school! I also think in this world of multi-tasking, coloring keeps our hands busy and let’s our mind wander free- it’s also related to another hot topic mindfulness.  I know that when I’m in a group setting without technology, say a staff-meeting, a conference, or a lecture, I find myself doodling and making line drawings.

So, I got permission from our principal Mr. Wasileswski and bought a variety of coloring books, a huge box of Crayons, and a passel of colored pencils. I tried to get a good mix of coloring books – for boys, girls, grownups, and also appealing to the rich multi-cultural tapestry and different interests that make up our student body.

Star Wars, Minecraft, Dragons, Ocean, Hispanic & Celtic heritage, Indian Mehndi henna designs, Afro and Luv My Curly Hair designs… a cornucopia of creative coloring books! See?

After a few weeks, I did find that we had to have some guidelines for the coloring corner – I don’t like to call them rules! (Teachers & School Librarians: You may want to read the more “How To”  blog post here on my professional blog)

Some of the guidelines are: claiming a page, sharing a page, giving us permission to Instagram or blog about the artwork & most important – not tearing out the pages. Because there are designs on the other side of the page and that would just wasteful and not fair.

Download the High Rez or poster version of this for your class or Makerspace. Click to see all sizes! All Creative Commons, Take, Use, Share!

Coloring Bookmarks!

Want some FREE Coloring Sheets to Download? We’ve got you covered!

From the website:

Download Many Sizes Here:

As seen above – used with permission from Dawn Nicole

Get More! FREE Printable Bookmarks

Winter Bookmarks Coloring Page | by Dawn Nicole Designs

Don’t believe coloring can be good for you?

Here’s some of the cool research I found!

“There are plenty of studies on the effectiveness of art therapy in reducing stress, and coloring seems to offer some similar benefits, as William Brennan wrote in this magazine when he noted the coloring books’ particular popularity in France. And doodling is a way for people to organize their thoughts, and focus. Coloring offers that relief and mindfulness without the paralysis that a blank page can cause.”  – Julie Beck of The Atlantic

Coloring has also been used to “gently ease veterans suffering from PTSD into art therapy. (5)”  One study on college students found that “coloring pre-drawn patterns significantly reduced signs of stress and depression. (6)”  Coloring before bedtime can even help you sleep!” (7)

“One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century” reports the Huffington Post.

2D Mandala Flickr CC Computer by RunnerFrog

“Mandalas are concentric circle drawings that originated in India and mean “sacred circles” in Sanskrit. (10)  Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, and Christian cathedrals all incorporate mandalas into their architecture.” – By of BeBrainfit

Mandalas and similar circular or spiral designs are thousands of years old. Look around and notice how abundantly the circular pattern of the mandala appears in our environment. You can see this geometric shape in all aspects of life. The sun in the sky, the nucleus of the cells in the body, and the unique design of a snowflake.

Kids are loving the coloring! Boys, girls, and grown-ups!

Now it’s YOUR turn! 

What do you think about coloring for teens and adults? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Resources:

Zen and Anti stress | Coloring Pages for Adults

Anti-Stress Coloring Books for Adults: The Latest Way to Relax

Mindfulness and the Popularity of Adult Coloring Books

How Colouring Books Are Helping Adults Beat Stress