BLOGS  >  DECEMBER 22, 2020

5 Ideas to Get Ready for the New Year


Every year during this time, I think about what I can do to get ready for the new year.  And this year especially, there have been a lot of lessons learned since the school year started, many of which can be used to help our students, teachers, and families too. 

As I reflect on all of the things that happened throughout the last twelve months and think about what the new year has in store for all of us, I spend time revisiting and catching up on the wonderful things shared throughout the year, while I learn, dream and set new goals. 

Today, as I wrap up my work and projects here at school, these are a few of the things I am doing to get ready.

1. First, I made sure my teacher colleagues and friends have what they need as they get ready for the new year.  One of my favorite go-to places to recommend and send them to is Titlewave, which is filled with amazing and helpful resources. 

Yes, it’s for teachers too! 

They can find elementary, middle school and high school topics around Diversity, SEL, STEAM and Hands-On-Learning, Guided Reading and so much more. It’s also very helpful for teachers to have their own Titlewave access as we build new book and curriculum lists for upcoming projects and curriculum connections during the second half of the school year. 

It’s easy to get your teachers signed up for Titlewave. Just send them to this link to sign up for their very own free account. 

2. Our students have been checking out lots of books to read over the holiday break. To get them all set to find and check out books, I shared a little video I created with WeVideo to remind them how to find and reserve them in our Destiny Discover. 

You can find my video, “Placing a hold on a book in Destiny Discover” here. Feel free to share this with your students too.

This video was super helpful this week as they needed a few reminders on how to do this with the winter break on the horizon. This was especially helpful for our remote learners since I am not in person with them to help. I wanted to make sure they checked out their books too as we do home deliveries right before the holidays.

I have been creating The Library Voice video library to help our students and teachers use the library and technology resources. I will be sharing more about this project in the new year.  

One of the best parts: You can use all of the videos too! 

3. I can’t wait to catch up on all the amazing work we did as Future Ready Librarians and educators this year. 

I created a Collection by Destiny to bring all of this work and resources together in one spot. It includes the new Future Ready Librarian podcast series, Leading from the Library; the FRL Conversation Starter, all of the webinars we did throughout the year, and so much more. 

You will find it here. And remember, you can add this Collection to your Destiny Discover and also share with your colleagues. 

4. One of the resources I am very excited to spend more time with is the 25 Days of Digital Tools and Apps choice board!  

The choice board is filled with so many terrific ideas and projects around 25 digital tools and apps. You will find the post here.

Each day, you will find a description of the app and ways to use it as educators and librarians, and with our students. 

I kicked it off by sharing Collections by Destiny. 

There is even a short video clip for each item that we took from the special webinar this fall, Digital Learning App Smash, that you can watch here.

5. One of my personal goals is to make sure I am ready for the blended and digital learning that will take place in 2021. I have been reading books, lots of articles and posts, and attending many webinars to expand and strengthen my learning and expertise. 

The webinar that really pushed my thinking and practice this year was Leading from the Library: Help your School Community Thrive in the Digital Age, with my friend and writing partner, Bill Bass. In this webinar, Bill and I present around five main topics that include: being a force for change, digital age mentorship and leadership, leading through equity and more. 

I am looking forward to watching this again as I set goals not only for myself, but for our school community and library. You will find the recording and the resources we shared here.

This year was filled with change, uncertainty and lots of sleepless nights, but was also one filled with hope, innovation, togetherness and progression that will change the world of education, schools and libraries forever. 

I hope you enjoy the holiday season with your family and spend a little time reflecting on what you have done to make a difference this year. That’s what I plan to do with these five ideas. We’ll be ready to take on a new year! 

Director of Innovation of Instructional Technology and Library Media
Van Meter School

Shannon McClintock Miller is the Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect Spokesperson working with librarians, educators and students around the world every day as an international speaker, consultant and author who has a passion for education, librarianship, advocacy, technology, social media and making a difference in the world and lives of others, especially children. Shannon brings a special expertise and vision to conversations around school libraries, education, technology, creativity and student voice.

Follow her blog for more ideas and inspiration.

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