Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teresa Garreth-Mon. Sept. 15th to Wed. Sept. 17, 2008

Teresa Garreth is the media specialist at New Castle Chrysler High School (NCCHS). Previously Teresa was an elementary teacher and later supervised seven elementary libraries for the New Castle Community Schools.

Learn more about Teresa and her professional interests and expertise at http://eduscapes.com/sms/overview/garreth.html


Visit her media center's website at http://www.nccsc.k12.in.us/hsmedia/

Teresa has first-hand experience with a position responsible for several school libraries and can provide realistic ideas about multiple building types of assignments. She also has excellent ideas and experience related to reading promotion, collection development, and can discuss any relevant issue related to school library media.

44 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:23 AM

    Hi Teresa. Thanks for "blogging" with us for a few days.

    I read that you have experience overseeing several libraries at once and that brings to mind the primary issue I have with school libraries. That is, the trend at small schools to do away with a media specialist in each building and instead have one media specialist oversee several buildings at once.

    Given your experience, what do you think about this trend?

    Do you have advice about dealing with multiple buildings? That is, time management issues, billing and receiving organization, and other things someone who has never been a media specialist might not thing of!

    What are the unique issues that arise in an elementary versus a middle and high school?

    Thanks again for your time!

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  2. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Hi Mrs. Garreth,
    You have a great website for your school library. I am especially intrigued with your TV studio production lab. Do many of the schools in your area have this type of program? To show my ignorance, I have not heard of this program before now. I think it is a great way to get children interested in school and technology. How did your program evolve? Do students have to meet a certain criteria or be enrolled in certain classes before they can be apart of the program? Thank you for being a guest speaker in our class. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.
    Sincerly,
    Judy A. Hickman S671 student

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  3. Julie Reitz9:28 AM

    Good morning Teresa. I am particularly interested in the various aspects of collection development and see this is one your areas of interest. How much time do you spend on average during the school year with this? Why and how does curriculum and collection development "go hand in hand" from your experience?

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  4. Julie Reitz S671 Student9:32 AM

    Teresa, I also enjoyed checking out your media center's website. I commend you on the concise, colorful, and user-friendly setup of the page. What types of "things" need to be on a media center's webpage? What resources, from your experience, are helpful to students and teachers?

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  5. Julie Reitz9:45 AM

    One last question, Teresa. :) I'm taking an education course that focuses on critical literacy for grades K-12. How does Accelerated Reader and Reading Count programs help increase comprehension and literacy in students? What are some of the negative aspects of these programs, such as the quiz lists? How do you feel about AR and RC programs?

    Thank you very much for your time, experience, and sharing of ideas.
    ~Julie Reitz S671 student

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  6. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Hi Mrs. Garreth,
    It is Judy Hickman
    I have another question for you.
    I noticed from your library web page that you collaborate with teachers on various topics and/or assignments. What is the best way, that you have found, to collaborate? I have trouble with this area in my library as most instructors do not have time to meet with me or they send the students to me with no assignment or a very vague one.
    Thanks again for your time!
    Judy A Hickman

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  7. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Hey Mrs. Garreth,

    I am really interested in the TV studio aspect of your school. I was wondering how much of your time is dealt with this aspect of the school. It seems that you would have a lot on your plate already before placing this on your table. How active are you in the productions and is it something the students make good use of or is it a little too complex and confusing? I really enjoy films and want to incorporate them into my class but am a little afraid of how students will react to them. I was just wondering what your experience with it is.

    Chad Gish

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  8. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Hi Teresa! I have a similar background as you. This is just my 2nd year as the media specialist at our elementary school in Westfield, but before this, I taught 2nd grade for 17 years in the same school/district. I really wasn't looking for a change from the classroom, but had told my principal, a few years earlier, that if our media specialist position ever became available, I would be very interested! Well...it happened and here I am working under an emergency license as I finish my Library Science certification. I LOVE my new job and was just curious to find out why you made the "move" from classroom teacher to media specialist and how you might compare the two positions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    ~Gracia L./Fall 2008 S671

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  9. Hi, Teresa,
    I see from your bio that you supervised the seven elementary libraries at New Castle Community Schools. Do you still work in that capacity? Are the elementary schools using paraprofessionals as "librarians"? I am especially interested in your insights since part of my job as media specialist is in the role of "Elementary Media Assistant Designee." I have 8 schools with 7 paraprofessionals named as "media assistants."
    What was the one most important implementation you established with your schools? What was your greatest frustration?
    Cindy Newton
    Media Specialist
    Connersville Middle School

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  10. Hi, Teresa,
    I see from your bio that you supervised the seven elementary libraries at New Castle Community Schools. Do you still work in that capacity? Are the elementary schools using paraprofessionals as "librarians"? I am especially interested in your insights since part of my job as media specialist is in the role of "Elementary Media Assistant Designee." I have 8 schools with 7 paraprofessionals named as "media assistants."
    What was the one most important implementation you established with your schools? What was your greatest frustration?
    Cindy Newton
    Media Specialist
    Connersville Middle School

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Hi Teresa,

    I hope I'm not too late joining the blogging group. I live not far from you in Richmond, Indiana, and have been busy trying to clean up after those awful winds we got Sunday!

    Anyway, I'm thrilled to have an expert to talk to who has both elementary and high school experience. I am a 6th-grade teacher at Richmond Community Schools. Currently, I am on a sabbatical for one year to obtain my Masters in Library Science from IUPUI. I'm hoping to return to work next fall as a media specialist anywhere in RCS. However, I'm strongly considering making a change from elementary to high school, if possible. I know nothing about being a media specialist at high school. I'm dying to know what a typical day or week is like at the high school level and how it compares to the elementary level. I'm assuming one difference is that you don't cover teacher preps at the high school level. Any information you have time to give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks a bunch!
    Sandy Brown

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  12. Anonymous5:18 AM

    First I must apologize for my delayed comments. We experienced some sever power outage over the weekend and our computers were offline most of the day Monday. This of course doubled our class load on Tuesday so I am just getting to make responses. I hope to respond to all today and am very sorry for the inconvenience.

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  13. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Ms. Hickman--
    I think we are one of the only schools in our county with a television studio. Our county schools do all feed into a vocational program that also provides broadcasting opportunities. Our studio began approximately 10 years ago through a grant. I currently have a staff member that oversees that each day. We have a second period class that learn how to use all of the equipment. They must give up a study hall each semester to be a member of the studio crew. She also assists with taping of class projects, editing, etc. Many times students who participate end up pursing broadcasting careers of some type. The crew presents our schools news each day for 5-10 minutes. We tape 2nd hour and run 3rd hour so there are no unprofessional surprises due to going live.

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  14. Anonymous9:01 AM

    It is very upsetting that corporations are currently trying to operate schools without certified media specialists. I am currently the only certified person in our corporation of 7 elementaries, 1 middle school, and 1 high school. Indiana requires high schools to maintain a media specialist in order to maintain North Central Conference Accredidation. We have a certified teacher over the 7 elementaries and middle school that handles all of their ordering,etc. I currently work only at the high school level.

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  15. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Ms. Reitz-
    Collection development is an area I spend an enormous amount of time. I am constantly reading reviews, books, etc. to stay on top of current material. I would say I do this daily. With limited budgets, I must choose carefully what I purchase for our students. I feel like one of the strongest things about my media center is my collection. I think students and staff both feel like we have what they want and need. Curriculum and collection development are always hand in hand because my goal is to always buy things that students want to read that also match what students must read to meet reading and research requirements. Staff communicate with me daily and I always try to strengthen the areas of our collection that I know they will be requiring students to use.
    Garreth

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  16. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Ms. Reitz--
    I try to make my website attractive and very easy to use. Parents and students alike use my website daily to check our collection of accelerated reader quizzes. If they have a book at home, want to check a reading level, etc. it is there. I think students ONLY use sites that they do not have to search around on a lot. I have sites that are there to support our English research papers, reading requirements, and Government and Econ. class assignments. All computers in our school open to my home page for easy student access.
    Garreth

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  17. Garreth9:10 AM

    Ms. Reitz-
    I have mixed feelings on Accelerated Reader. The teachers use it to have a way to verify that students are reading and able to comprehend. Of course, they are always ways to comprise the system and cheat, but we require our students to take all tests in a lab certified by an aide at all times. The students are always allowed to choose books that interest them so a lot of students enjoy this part of the requirement. One negative is that many times books are written on low levels and then there are books students would read that they cannot because of this. Another important part of my job is recommending books to students that I think they will enjoy. Once you hook them on a series or author they visit the media center a lot more.
    Garreth

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  18. Garreth9:14 AM

    Ms. Hickman--
    Collaboration at my school is actually fairly easy. I try to eat lunch with them frequently and work very closely with the English department head. She has an additional prep hour to help everyone and visits me frequently during this time so we can plan and help everyone out. Also, I have many classes visit the media center and I ALWAYS try to get out and be sure students are finding what they need and ask teachers if they need anything. This is sometimes hard when I have so many other responsibilities--but one of the main reasons I am here. We have a great English department and so that makes it much easier

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  19. Garreth9:18 AM

    Mr. Gish--
    Our school has chosen to support the television studio so I have a full time staff that works solely with this. I am in charge of supervision and budget, however, I have a great staff that runs and coordinates this program. It is housed in our media center.

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  20. Garreth9:25 AM

    Grace--
    I love my job. I also loved my job as a classroom teacher. To be honest, when I decided to work on my masters I was not looking for a job change I just knew I wanted something other than elementary education so other options were there. The only reason I made the change so soon after completion of my degree was location of a job closer to home. I began in elementary library supervision and really, really missed the students. When our high school job became open I made the move. I love the high school students and work so frequently with classrooms that I know most of the students. I also try to help out in extra things at school-National Honor Society, and a couple of other school clubs so students see me more frequently. I think when you are not actually in the classroom you have to work harder to earn student respect and get them to see you as someone that is there to help them. I feel fortunate that students use the media center a lot.

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  21. Garreth9:27 AM

    Mrs. Newton--
    I am currently in charge of our high school program and this is my 7th year here. I do not still supervise the elementaries. The elementaries are supervised by a certified teacher over all 7 and staffed with media technicians.

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  22. Garreth9:33 AM

    Mrs. Brown-
    There is a huge difference in my job as supervisor of the elementary libraries and my job here. As supervisor I tried to visit each school each week, support my media technicians, order for each school, etc. I felt more like just their administrator. At the high school I am in charge of a beautiful facility, but I am in constant contact with students helping them find what they need. Each day several classrooms visit the media center with their teachers for research and then I help them find what they need both online and in books. WE are also open for students from 7:30-4:00 without passes. WE usually have approximately 100 a day that are down here for an hour during different periods working on assignments. I try to be available for questions. I do work in my office a lot during periods where I am not working directly with classes. I have 2 media technicians that help maintain order with the students that are here without teacher supervision. My days are always different and sometimes I do not sit down. High school students have to see you right there and available to know you are willing to help. I think media centers are now busy places students want to be. Somedays we are super busy and other days teachers are instructing in the room and giving test so it is a little quieter. Generally speaking several classes and many students visit us each day.

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  23. Thank you Ms. Garreth for taking the time to answer all my questions concerning school librarianship. I appreciate your time, knowledge, and experience.
    ~Julie Reitz

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  24. Hi Ms. Garreth,
    I enjoyed reading and learning new ideas from your comments and personal experience dealing with collection development. Do you get many ARC's to read? How does this work and are students allowed to read the ARC copy?

    I admire and respect how you select and purchase materials that students want to read and will likewise use to meet their curriculum and personal needs and interests.

    Thank you!
    ~Julie

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  25. Thank you for sharing what makes for a good school library media center (SLMC) webpage and the important features to include. Do you need to have an extensive knowledge of HTML or do you find you use pre-made templates?

    Thank you,
    Julie

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  26. Thanks for your comments and thoughts on the topic of Accelerated Readers, Ms. Garreth. I'm doing some research on it and how accuately it measures and developes literacy skills in students for one of my education courses.

    I also like your "open approach" with students and teachers, reaching out to help them find what they want to read and what they need for assignments. I hope to take all of this information with me when I begin working as a SLMS someday. :)

    Thank you again for your time,
    Julie

    9:10 AM

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  27. Thank you for all of your practical insights. I would like to ask a few "less practical" questions...

    What is your biggest joy as a media specialist?

    What is your biggest frustration?

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  28. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Hi Teresa,

    Would you please say a few words about student assessment? Does assessment play a role in your program? How do you use assessment data to inform instruction or guide collection development? What assessment data is important to you? Thank you for your comments.

    Jennifer Sigler

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  29. Hi Teresa,
    I noticed that you seem to have a good sized staff. Was it always like that or did you have to work up to that? How many students are in your school? How supportive is your principal and what kinds of communication do you have with him? Do you do media center newsletters separate from the school or do you just include something with the school one?

    One last question: Are classes scheduled into the library?

    Thanks for reading this!!

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  30. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Hello, again! I feel very similar about my new position! It is so nice to get to see ALL of the students in our elementary each week! Our library is scheduled into our "specials" schedule, so I see each class for 40 min. (kindergarten for 30 min.) every four days! I feel like I get to really build a relationship with the students this way! On a lighter note...I have to admit that I sometimes compare my new position, as a media specialist, to being a grandparent. Sometimes you have those students who are nice to see for those 40 minutes, but it's also nice to see them leave :) (I only mean this in the nicest way!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts about moving from the classroom into the media center with me! I'm anxious for many more exciting years!
    ~Gracia, S671/Fall 2008

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  31. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Mrs. Garreth,

    Thanks for answering my question. I was wondering if in your studio you have the capabilities for students to record themselves musically, and if any take you up on it. I want to try a little recording in my school and was wondering if it is something you have experience with?

    Chad Gish

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  32. Jennifer8:54 PM

    Hi Teresa!

    I read that you were a teacher. What drew you to being a media school specialist? I have thought about this profession for years. I was a teacher also. I was lucky enough to find a job a year and half after I graduated. But the only jobs I got were temporary contracts. With lack of jobs in my area, I chose to leave the field. I've been in management ever since. When I decided to go to grad school, I thought about a media specialist. I wonder how teachers would respond to me since I was a former teacher.

    So, do get a positive response from teachers when they find out you were a teacher?

    One of my teaching jobs I taught A.M. kindergarten at one school and P.M. kindergarten at another school. As a librarian how is your time managed when dealing with multiple schools? I did A.M.'s prep before school and P.M.'s prep after school. I usually left school around 4 or 4:30 and arrived at school between 6:30 and 7.

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  33. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Hi Teresa,

    I read your response to Judy's question about collaboration and how you find time to work with your fellow teachers and implement integrated curriculum. My question follows-up with this line of thought in that I am wondering how you record evidence of your collaboration and how you assess the quality and successfulness of a collaborative project?

    Thank you for taking time to blog with us this week!

    Kara Bayless

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  34. Hi Teresa. I see from our instructor's website that you are interested in Inspire. I get quite a few kids in the public library I work at that have never heard of Inspire at all. Do you have any best practices as a media specialist to encourage and teach kids to use Inspire effectively? Thanks!

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  35. Garreth6:22 AM

    Julie-
    Our school corporation supports Front Page for web design and frequently offers inservice to staff that need extra help. I find it easy to use and update.

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  36. Garreth6:36 AM

    Mrs. Newton--
    My biggest joy is working directly with frustrated students to help them find a book they actually like to read and/or helping them learn how to use valuable and accurate sources for their research. When they say, "Hey thanks, I loved that book" or "Hey that was the easiest paper I've ever written" then I know I'm making progress.

    My biggest frustration is all of the paperwork (budgets, reports, etc.) that take time away from
    working directly with students. It frustrates me when I am in my office and kids have to come get me for help. They should not have to come get me, I should be there. This happens more than I want it to. Even though these times are also part of my job.

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  37. Garreth6:41 AM

    KB-
    I do feel like I have a decent sized staff. I have to prove statistics each year to keep them. Our school is approximately 1100 students 9-12. Classes schedule into the media center and labs via me. We are also ALWAYS open for students to come on passes or agendas to work independently. I have labs that are only to be used with students that are with teachers--for supervision purposes and then I have approximately 15 computers on my media floor that they work on if they are on their own. I speak with my principal numerous times each week due to my high involvement in various committees, etc. I send separate newsletters to staff updating them on new topics, events, etc., but include news to students via our newsletters and daily broadcast announcements.

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  38. Garreth7:01 AM

    Mr. Gish--
    Our only experience with students recording themselves is for projects via band and or choir. We also have our Government classes produce commercials during the year and they sometimes use musical props. This is great for them because of the editing.

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  39. Garreth7:07 AM

    Alicia-
    We could not survive in our school without INSPIRE. I do a 1 day intro to the media center with our freshman, but we do a 5 day media center orientation with our sophomores. In our building this is the level they begin to research. I spend 2 days with them on INSPIRE searching. On the first day I model and have them do a short search activity. On the second day, they bring a topic they want to research and use what they have learned. I am available the whole hour to help them if they struggle. My English department constantly encourages use of INSPIRE. When we do research, most teachers give students a day or two in the lab and then a day or two on the media floor to research. We do this so they do not totally depend on all online sources, but are required to use book sources as well.

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  40. Garreth7:13 AM

    Jennifer-
    My best personal form of assessment is do I have what they need? If students perform well on what teachers ask them to do and they find that information here, I feel I am supporting them well. Once again, I think we are strong in this area because our English teachers align their curriculums well with state standards and communicate what is happening to me.

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  41. Garreth7:16 AM

    Jennifer-
    The teachers love that I have actually taught in the classroom myself. I have an understanding of where they are coming from and what they need from me because I have been there before.
    I no longer supervise the 7 schools so I am in my location from 7:30-3:30 each day. I also open every other Thursday evening from 6-8 if requested by any students or teachers.

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  42. Garreth7:20 AM

    Kara-
    I do not actually record evidence of my collaborations. I do it daily when needed and not on a scheduled basis. Today, as of 10:00, I have talked to 3 different English teachers about ongoing projects we are doing. I may have touched on your other question in another response. I base my assessment on how student projects turn out and do they have what they need. At the completion of a project I always check with teacher s to see if they can think of something they needed information on that we did not have. This was a lot harder the first couple of years I was here. Now I know what is coming and buy updated materials accordingly before that unit each year. I feel our collection connects well with our school curriculum.

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  43. Julie S671 student2:49 PM

    Thank you again for sharing your time, comments, and ideas with the class, Ms. Garreth.

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  44. Theresa,
    I know your time here is over but I just want to say thanks. I feel a little bit more confident after reading all of your responses. I have almost 900 students with the assistance of a full time media aide. She is constantly being pulled away for tech assistance and lunch room duties. Sometimes their isn't ANYONE in the library to help students! I appreciate your time and patience in answering our questions.

    Kathy B.

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