Sunday, October 25, 2015

NCSLMA Conference 2015 Reflections

             For the past three years I have had the privilege of attending the North Carolina School Library Media Association Conference and learning from other Media Specialist across the state along with hearing very motivational speakers. This year was no different I left with so many ideas that I am not sure where to start first. However, this year I also had the privilege to present at the conference. When I first sent my session to them for their approval I thought, it would be fun to share and help others. When I got the acceptance email in August that excitement had a tinge of nervousness and yes, fear, with it. I started thinking, "What did I do to myself? I can't do this!"  With the support of my professors and colleagues at the school and district level the fear soon turned to just nervous excitement.  As the day drew closer I had the help of Dr. Morris, at UNC-G to help preview my slides and give me some pointers. Her support truly made this possible.  My presentation was now complete I just had to wait for the conference.

                The day of the conference arrived. My colleague and I arrived and checked in and I have to be honest I had to check the program to make sure I was still presenting because it still felt surreal. I am still just a "new" media specialist from a small rural school in the heart of North Carolina. I was getting that nervous feeling. I found my session in the program and realized, "Yes, this is happening."

          Friday's Keynote Speaker, Rebecca Constantino, reminded me of the power of the library, and how we help make a difference in the lives of our students in a way that can transform them completely.  Her speech was exactly what I needed after a long week at school. It reminded me that while I might not see the differences I am making on a daily basis I am making a difference. It was also the fuel that ignited my curiosity for the rest of the day.

           The luncheon guest speaker, Deborah Wiles, was truly inspiration as she shared her story and proved the power of the written word. She reminded us to teach kindness as we go through our days for we might not know what a child is going through. Her passion and way of telling stories help connect the world to times gone by in a way that makes the reader feel like they are there experiencing it all first hand.

             As I attended the afternoon sessions, Deborah Wiles and Rebecca Constanitino's words echoed in my head and I couldn't wait to share my session with others. At that point I realized that while yes I am a new media specialist, we all have knowledge to share. The conference is a learning experiencing where presenters and attendees are exchanging information and learning from each other. I couldn't wait to share.

               Noon came on Saturday and I was ready to share. With about 10 minutes left I had about 7 people in the room and thought, "Okay I can do this. No problem."  Then in the next 5 minutes the room began to get crowded and my excitement became more nerves. I had a room full to present to. It was quite an experience. Thanks to Dr. Morris, my slides format helped me with presenting the information in a knowledgeable way. Did I still talk to fast? Yes, I need to remember to breathe more next time and open up the floor to discussion more than just at the end.  The conversations back and forth between the attendees and myself  were fascinating. I learned so much from them and left the day feeling pumped that I was able to share my ideas with others.

                 I am honored that I had the chance to share with media specialist around the state. I hope that they were able to take something from my session that can help them at their school. The purpose of the conference is to meet with our colleagues across the state and learn from each other. I am already planning ahead for next year, however first on my agenda is to implement as many ideas as possible to help my students reach their potential.


 Link to my presentation and my storify:   with all the notes attached.


  1. Yay for conferences! Your presentation looked great! The Big 6 is something that the high school media specialist I'm shadowing is still trying to drill into students (and teachers') heads. It's great that you're starting on this so early! I went to NCLA this year, but didn't present; it was my first time going, so maybe one day in the future I'll be in your shoes!

    1. I will be honest I was so nervous, however it was so much fun also. It was great sharing ideas and then listening to how other people would be able to use it. Our school system implemented the Big 6 4 years ago. It is a long process of getting students/teachers to switch over. We are still trying to train and teach.