Monday, November 13, 2017

Learning Anew

walking at sunrise on the dyke

It's  complicated to "unretire". There are many forms to fill in to obtain certain benefits and to
renounce others. I didn't give up my teaching license and I am working at the same school in the same school district so my credentials and experience are still on file. One less paper to fill out!

School libraries have been "reinstated" in our province and our district director told me that we have 14 new teacher-librarians. Many of these newbies have no courses in Library Education. Their learning curve must be a lot steeper than mine because I started to work in libraries in 1981 (before they were born!!!) I have volunteered at the Oaxaca Lending Library since my retirement so I'm not really out of touch.

Technology has changed in the school in 6 years. I have a "white board" and can project from my computer to use educational websites and databases. I probably won't buy much in the way of nonfiction books as these become "outdated" and certainly are not the way of the future. Every teacher has been issued with a laptop and teacher iPhones are just part of the equipment.

cheery red and grey combination

I am a lot older than the rest of the staff. The next oldest is 52! I have developed a "back to school"
wardrobe. I am enjoying "dressing for school" and I have made several new purchases. I am especially enjoying a fleece lined dress by Chalet with a grey and red poppy infinity scarf that I bought in La Conner and a red Eileen Fisher tunic from my New York trip. Grey is a simple colour to accessorize and I like to wear a pair of low black  boots for comfort. I am wearing my fitbit and my steps are adding up. I still walk with my friend and with my brother on my days off.

Some days I wonder what I am doing! This is such an unexpected twist in the road. I hope to learn some new skills this year and perhaps to be an example of lifelong learning.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Modern Elder?

I'm glad that I didn't miss my walk and coffee at the Seniors' Centre.

I am addicted to listening to podcasts. I really enjoy the modern equivalent of the "old-time radio show". I listen in the evening after my husband and I watch a Netflix production together. Personally,
I use my eyes a lot during the day and I prefer to limit my television screen time to two hours.

Last night, I listened to a presentation called In the Balance:Managing the Five Generation Workplace where Chuck Conley, a fifty-something, who had been hired by the very young founders of AIRBNB as a "modern elder", spoke about the different behaviours and tendencies of the generations in the workplace.

Now, I'm going out to the "parking lot garden".

As I have just returned to work on a part-time basis, my ears "perked up". I was born in 1952 (right in the middle of the baby boom. Most of the staff at the school where I am working are "generation X" or "millennial" based on their apparent ages. While I spent my "20's" as a young mother/student/wife
with a full-time worker/evening student/ husband, my youngest colleagues are unmarried professionals who are buying their first apartments. They are enthusiastic and energetic. They are comfortable with the Digital Age and they are eager to help.

The next group of staff, "generation x",  closer in age to my daughter, have long-established careers in the same school/district and are homeowners with children. As the "old new woman on the block", I am looking to create a role for myself.

I am working in an elementary school library so there is the additional youngest generation, the students.  I'm wondering, "How do I wish to be perceived?" I'm not really a "granny type." I have enough "digital savvy" to use online resources effectively and my French has improved since my retirement.We have a new curriculum in our province and supporting print resources (especially in French)
are almost nonexistent. Establishing budget and locating resources will be my first challenge.

This is an unexpected path for me at this time in my life. It is part-time and temporary (probably for the school year). Yesterday, the principal asked me if I would substitute on my days off. No! While I am happy that the school library can be open with a qualified teacher-librarian, I have no desire to teach P.E. or kindergarten. I have a walking date with a friend which takes priority. I might meet my daughter later and Monsieur and I have plans. Besides, there's laundry....I am definitely not on a career path.

I'm not sure what Chuck Conley's job was...something about providing emotional intelligence to those who already had digital intelligence but I liked the sound of it. I aspire to be a "modern elder"
this year.