Professional Learning Opportunities September 2021
September has arrived, which means we survived Book Week and now turn our attention towards the end of the year. It’s been a big, exciting and I know stressful year for many.
If you are in lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list. Happy learning.
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I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website.
Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 non members – 15 September, 2021
SLAV is hosting a range of fantastic masterclass online webinars in September. The first is all about designing collections to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.
Masterclass series 2021 – Enriching Collections: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives – SLAV – 2 September 2021, 10am-12noon – Online – $120
This second masterclass is two hours long and investigates Orientation sessions.
Masterclass series 2021 – Orientation – SLAV – 9 September 2021 – Online – $120
SLAV’s two and a half hour masterclass series offers ideas around why school libraries need to support multilingual students and how this impacts decision making around collection development.
Masterclass series 2021 – Multilingual School Libraries: Why and How? – SLAV – 16 September 2021 – Online – $120
I think we can all relate to the challenge of trying to engage reluctant readers with the joy of reading. ASLA are hosting a webinar on this topic with Libby Baker.
ASLA September Webinar 2021 – Strategies to Engage Reluctant Readers – 1 September, 2021, Online – $20 members, $40 non-members.
Professional Learning Opportunities August 2021
Welcome to August. Almost. Seems like the year is just flying by, but then again we always seem to say that.
Once again I have collected professional learning links to share with you for the upcoming month. I’ve decided to start grouping them by topic instead of type, so we’ll see how that goes. These links are perfect for school librarians, public librarians, teachers, education leaders and anyone interested in the wonderful world of literature, reading and education. I hope they have some value for you. Please do feel free to share and a massive thanks to all the people who have created these webinars, podcasts, articles, posts and more.
You can now sign up to receive these posts delivered straight to your inbox each month.
Okay, so I might be a bit keen on genrefication. I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website.
Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 – 15 September, 2021
The pandemic changed how we operated libraries. Some things we had to do and some things were fantastic opportunities to reach out clients in new ways. Every Library Institute is offering a free, on-demand webinar that covers things like patron expectations, safe spaces, reengaging communities, and flexibility.
Designing the Post-Pandemic Library – Webinar – Future Library Institute – Free – Online anytime.
Let It Be Me – Becky Wade – A Misty River Romance #2 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 4 May 2021
Having graduated college at 18, Sebastian Grant has continued to leverage his intelligence and determination to become a pediatric heart surgeon. The more accolades he receives, the more he’s driven to pursue. Then he meets high school math teacher Leah Montgomery, and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop.
Solving advanced math equations by the age of five, Leah has always wanted to pursue a PhD in mathematics. She willingly put that dream on hold to raise her brother. Now that he is of age, she’s set on avoiding any obstacles to her goal–including romance.
When Leah receives surprising news in the process of taking a test for tracking her ancestry, she asks Sebastian to help her comb through aged hospital records to learn more. Soon his presence isn’t so easily ignored. But when Sebastian learns his best friend also has feelings for Leah, he begins to question his resolve to win her. Attaining their deepest desires may require more sacrifices than they ever imagined.
Let It Be Me is another heartwarming contemporary, Christian romance from Becky Wade. Like her previous book, Let It Be Me features one of the Miracle Five, five teens who had been miraculously saved after a building collapsed on them during an earthquake. Now adults, we follow them as they sort through their past hurts and journey on the road to love. This time it’s Sebastian’s turn.
Sebastian is a gifted surgeon. After the events of the earthquake, he turned his life around. Drawn into the Coleman family, he didn’t let being a foster kid define him. They saved him and offered what he most wanted – to belong. That’s way he would do anything for his best friend and closest person he has to family, Ben Coleman. When Sebastian meets and is instantly drawn to Leah Montgomery, he knows he has to get to know her better. The one problem is that it’s the same Leah Ben has been crushing on for two years. Sebastian does the right thing and withdraws but when Leah asks for his help to untangle a mystery involving DNA and hospital logistics, they spend more time together and Sebastian finds it increasingly difficult to stay honourable to his best friend.
I think this book has one of the few love triangles I’ve truly enjoyed. Maybe that’s because all along Leah has no feelings but those of friendship for Ben and it’s so clear that she and Sebastian are perfect for each other. Everyone is respectful of the other and mindful not to hurt anyone’s feelings. There is an intense connection between Sebastian and Leah but there are many obstacle in the path, firstly Ben and Sebastian’s duty of friendship but also Leah’s desire to remain single and Sebastian’s own habit of not getting to close to people.
A Life Once Dreamed – Rachel Fordham – Revell – Published 4 August 2020
Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.
When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.
In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?
Rachel Fordham returns to the 1880s frontier in her latest novel, A Life Once Dreamed. This is a historical romance that plunges readers into a setting where disease can wipe out families, birth holds many dangers and morals dictate social standing. This is a story about belonging and acceptance and finding your true family.
Agnes Pratt left Boston six years ago. She left behind the love of her life, but she knew they could never had a future together. Now she is teacher in a small frontier town. When James Harris appears in town as the new doctor, it brings up all their past and Aggie’s hurt. But she refuses to share the secret of why she left him all those years ago. When two disasters chance the course of their lives, Aggie and James will need to decide if what they share is enough to overlook all the obstacles that stand between them.
The setting Fordham creates feels very realistic. Times are hard and facilities basic for the people of Penance. The arrival of a doctor is cause for celebration – for everyone that is, except Aggie. Seeing James again shows her that her feelings haven’t changed, a love that is built on years of friendship and shared adventure, which we readers learn about through reflections, flashbacks and letters. Aggie closely guards her secret, even from readers for a good part of the book. I didn’t guess the direction her secret would take the book until the first disaster. I won’t spoil anything here.
What Grew in Larry’s Garden – Laura Alary and Kass Reich (ill) – Hachette Book Group – Published 7 April 2020
Grace thinks Larry’s garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him – watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there’s a problem – like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce – Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry’s example to find the perfect solution.
In this story about a little girl and a man with a garden sits a message about community and helping people to grow and flourish. Inspired by a true story, What Grew in Larry’s Garden is a book that shares a love of nature, problem solving and kindness.
Bright but soft illustrations bring the story to life in greens, browns and splashes of bright red watercolour.
There is much to cherish about this book. Initially it seems a simple story about a young girl who enjoys gardening with her older neighbour. I love the cross-generational friendship and the way the pair work together to creatively and kindly solve the problems they come across in their garden from bugs to squirrels. The tomato plants they grow together have a big future, though, and that’s where the true story comes into the book. Larry is a teacher and he grows tomato plants to share with his students. He then shares with Grace the letters they write to others as they give their tomato plants away. From overcoming broken friendships, sharing small acts of kindness, or giving thanks for service. The author shares a note at the back of the book explaining the inspiration of the book and how Larry’s work with his students and the giving away of tomato plants helped to grow a community and possibility within those students.
Before I Called You Mine – Nicole Deese – Bethany House Publishers – Published 31 March 2020
Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.
Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.
With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.
What a heartwarming story about international adoption and God’s timing. Before I Called You Mine will delight and entrance Christian romance readers. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable book that is at times uplifting as it is bittersweet.
Lauren longs to be a mother. She has been waiting for her international adoption application to go through for over a year. She has closed the door on dating and marriage, knowing she must remain single for her adoption options to be finalised. But just when a possible adoption match finally appears, she meets Joshua – a substitute teacher at her school, a tech whiz and son of the man who started her teaching career. He is funny, kind and she can’t help but be drawn to him. But if she follows her heart with Joshua, she will loose her chance to adopt a child who needs her.
This book it utterly beautiful. It is bittersweet. Just when one of Lauren’s greatest desires seems set to come true the other is taken from her. There is no right answer and we readers are easily drawn into Lauren’s dilemma.
2017 Penguin Random House Teachers’ Catalogue
The Penguin Random House Australia Teachers’ Catalogue is a fantastic resource. As a librarian I am always on the lookout for new resources to better improve my own practice, as well as ensure that the literature that I am recommending to readers is both up-to date and first class. The Penguin Teachers’ Catalogue offers that and more.
The catalogue is divided into five main sections. The first, Feature Articles, offers a range of articles about reading and publishing trends, from short stories to coding.
The second section is divided into reading stages, from Early Years right up to Years 11 and 12 in Stage 6. Each of these Stage chapters presents newly published titles, reviews, author/illustrator insights and even activity ideas.
The third section of the Teachers’ Catalogue offers a comprehensive guide to the DK book range and new titles, grouped by subject. The short fourth section offers a range of titles for professional development, while the fifth and last section, Curriculum Resources is a curated titles lists by subject or focus, such as titles with Indigenous themes or those that feature STEM themes.
I have found the curriculum resources lists particularly helpful, especially when designing promotions for special events or compiling resource lists for particular topics. And the activity ideas, such as the the Hungry Caterpillar finger puppets, are also fantastic resources.
For a limited time, teachers and librarians may subscribe to the Penguin Teacher’s Newsletter and receive a free copy of the Teachers’ Catalogue. See the Penguin Teachers’ website for more information.