Last year, I was lucky enough to notice TEDxKidsElCajon being promoted on Twitter. I quickly registered for the event and had a fantastic time. Earlier this year, Liz Leother presented TEDEdClubs at the East County Tech Fest, and she happened to mention that registration for this year’s TEDxKidsElCajon was live. I was registered within minutes of Liz’ presentation.

IMG_20160417_234312It was easy to convince my 13-year-old daughter to attend with me again–she had a blast last year and she was eager to come back. Here are my pictures from the event–I highly recommend you plan to attend next year!

I was also very glad to have a handful of El Cajon Valley High School students attend as volunteers. I hope one day to provide students at ECVHS with the opportunity to share their ideas on a TED stage, so I’ve started the process to become a TEDEdClub leader (thanks again to Liz Leother for your guidance!). I already have a handful of students interested in joining the ECVTEDEdClub. I can’t wait to see how they express their ideas worth spreading.

Also in attendance at Liz Leother’s East County Tech Fest presentation was Dr. Gary Woods, Grossmont Union High School District Board Member. He and I talked briefly and it was obvious that we both agreed that TEDEdClubs could be great for GUHSD students. A few weeks later I was at a district meeting, and I got to talk with Dr. Woods and Theresa Kemper (GUHSD Assistant Superintendent). From this conversation, I was invited to TEDxElCajonSalon. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought perhaps the TEDxElCajonSalon event was a 2nd take of the TEDxKidsElCajon event, but I gratefully accepted the invitation to go because I figured the more TEDx events I saw in action the more I would be prepared later to help make one happen at ECVHS or GUHSD.

The TEDxElCajonSalon event was not a 2nd take of the TEDxKidsElCajon event. The venue, Irwin M Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, brought amazing presenters to the stage (Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro, Vista Superintendent Devin VodickaChief Digital Officer for Vancouver Public Schools Mark RayDirector of Professional Learning @USDMTLC Katie Martin, and many others–even Irwin Jacobs himself!). I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to the great ideas shared on stage. I even heard a few good thoughts to add to a presentation that I need to finish up by Tuesday! I did feel a little out of place, as a TED novice, but I had a great time. I will say, though, that I’m pretty sure I was the only one wearing jeans (Since when does “business casual” include a suit jacket? Come on! Here are my pictures from the event–tell me if you see anyone in jeans).

IMG_20160417_234452I feel very lucky that I was able to attend both TEDxKidsElCajon and TEDxElCajonSalon. Thank you to Dr. Gary Woods and Theresa Kemper for including me in your trip to Qualcomm! Thank you to Reuben Hoffman for the great conversation throughout the day! And, again, thank you to Liz Loether and everyone at Cajon Valley Union School District working to bring this amazing TEDx presence to El Cajon.

Day 1 of the Information Literacy Workshop at CSUSM

Before our awesome librarian retired, he emailed me information about an Information Literacy workshop at CSU San Marcos. I registered and today was the first day of the workshop. A science teacher at my school (@MrEnerva) agreed to come with me–just for the chance to learn something new (how cool is that?!).

IMG_20160123_164359The CSUSM library staff shared their boot-camp-like courses designed to give incoming freshmen the research skills that professors expect college students to have. Those courses are:

The CSU San Marcos Library staff applied for and received a grant to share their Information Literacy program with surrounding high schools and middle schools in an effort to share their work and to help guide teachers prepare their students for college research expectations. I was very glad to learn about what CSUSM is doing at the college level considering that the GUHSD Library Council met just a couple weeks ago to develop research guidelines to help our own teachers lead students through the research process. Seeing this kind of work valued and shared by CSUSM helped legitimize the work our librarians are doing to promote the research process at our schools. I’m very excited to share what I learned (and my notes) with my librarian colleagues at our February 1st meeting!

Becoming a Librarian


The first time I remember visiting a library was… in the 6th grade. My teacher told me I had to do a book report. The year before, at a different school, I read Abel’s Island. I was pretty sure that since I was now in a different school, in a different city, that my teacher this year would have no idea that I already read that book. It was the perfect plan. I would get 2 years’ worth of book reports from reading one book.

I don’t quite remember how all that worked out for me, but that’s not my point here. My point is: I am now in charge of running a school library. I was just hired a couple weeks ago, and I’ll be starting my new position at the end of the semester. I’ve gone from being a 6th grader looking to commit a reading crime, to being in charge of my high school’s Library Learning Commons.

My next steps include (in no particular order):

  • start a blog to document this interesting transition in my career (check)
  • gain acceptance into San Jose State University’s Teacher-Librarian Credential Program
  • meet with the current library council to begin building relationships with more librarians in my district
  • attend a cool 2 day High School Information Literacy Skills Workshop
  • arrive at work earlier so I can spend some time in the library before teaching

Hooray for new opportunities!

Image source:  http://www.scholastic.com/content5/media/products/04/9780374300104_xlg.jpg