Krish Stella has been the librarian at Blazier Primary for 14 years. She has worked for ELL and Multilingual Summer School as a librarian for 5 summers so far. She loves to be with her family and pets, garden and spend time in her backyard paradise. She also enjoys hiking and word games.
Have you ever read the book, The Little Engine That Could? The message of the story is about never giving up. This was a message that I clung to this year, and it started last May when I received notification that the Multilingual Summer School was going to happen but it would be… all virtual!
My first inclination was to resign. I did not want to spend hours in my house in front of a screen when my past experiences working with students in the multilingual summer school program were very hands-on with centers, interactive stories, Beebots, crafts and more. I also did not love reading books to students on Zoom. Since library time is a preferred activity for students, I want any time that I spend on Zoom to be engaging for students.
After meeting with my summer school principal and viewing the projected schedule, I decided that I would go ahead and work the four weeks of summer school I was hired to do! I do not regret that decision at all!
I spent hours planning lessons that I thought would engage students. I learned how flexible 5 and 6 year olds are! In summer school, I invented games, found websites to use together, made Google slide decks, read stories, practiced mindfulness, sang with students, and got to know students during a daily storytime.
These experiences helped me be a better CIC when the school year began because I was already familiar with Zoom and Blend and was able to meet with teachers to help them set up and organize their Blend pages. I used the “I think I can” mindset to help teachers and myself when we felt overwhelmed with virtual and later consecutive teaching.