Today I write about my son. My blog today has nothing to do with makerspaces or libraries. Today I write about a lesson that I learned.
After a two month summer hiatus from school and Tae Kwon Do, we returned to our normal routine. I dug up our sparring bags, uniforms, and belts and began the weekly ritual of bringing our three children (Tyler 7, Riley 6, and Lexy 4) to their Tae Kwon Do lessons. I thought they would be a "little rusty" from the long break, but they didn't miss a beat.
Lexy was her usual scrappy self. At barely 3 feet tall and 25 pounds, she has kept up with her brothers. She is learning skills of self-discipline and self-defense, important for every young girl (especially for someone of her stature). Today, she earned a red star for her performance.
Tyler and Riley are both in the same class afterwards, both blue belts with stripes. My boys are similar (love Star Wars, video games, and bugging their little sister), but they are also so different (personalities, abilities, and eating habits). Today Tyler earned a star, just like his sister. All three of our children have learned that some days they will earn a star in Tae Kwon Do, and sometimes they won't. After years of participating in this sport they have accepted it. But today was different. Today Riley was forcing the tears back and clenching his teeth, trying to hold back his emotions like Dr. Banner and the Hulk (his favorite super hero).
After much prodding, we finally discovered that Riley was upset about two things. First he was upset that he didn't earn a star. This is unusual, because Riley is very accepting. The second reason made more sense to us. Riley's Tae Kwon Do instructor gave him a thin board to break, and a thicker board to his older brother. Riley felt slighted. He wanted to break the thicker board so he grabbed one from the pile. His instructor knew his abilities, and tried to ease him back into Tae Kwon Do by giving him the thinner board. I understood it from an adult's point of view, but Riley didn't.
Tyler tried to comfort him by giving him the blue star that he had earned, but Riley wouldn't have it. It wasn't the star he really wanted (although my husband and I thought that Riley deserved it more today of our two sons). He wanted the thicker board. He wanted to be like his brother, and he wanted to try it. Giving Riley his own star wouldn't have helped the situation. It would have diminished the value of the ones that his brother and sister had received.
After the lesson, we explained the situation to the instructor. Riley dried his tears and smiled when the instructor picked up a thick board and called him over. Riley tried and tried kicking and pushing. But it wouldn't break. Since thinner boards are easier to break, the instructor picked up two thin boards and showed Riley that the thickness together would equal one thick board. Riley kicked them and smiled. He didn't need the star. He needed an opportunity to feel proud of himself.
The fact of the matter is, Riley has earned more stars that Tyler over the years. Riley has more "heart" for Tae Kwon Do. Riley should have received two stars yesterday, one for his effort and one for his determination.
And, of course, we bought ice cream on the way home just as Riley wanted.
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian
Bunhead With Duct Tape
PRAISE FOR "HACKING SCHOOL LIBRARIES"
"Hacking School Libraries is the practical book that I have been waiting for a teacher-librarian to publish! This is the book I will be recommending to school librarians who want constructive and attainable suggestions on how to not only transform their library space, but also their library practices and in turn, their school. The stories and ideas from Stony, Kristina, and other respected colleagues in the school library world spotlight tried-and-true practices that have transformed school library programs across the nation."
"I really like the quick reading style and the focus banners for each hack. This is a very useful guide for new school library professionals or those thirsting for easy, practical, and inexpensive ideas to revitalize their school libraries. My highest praise is that it's written by practitioners FOR practitioners."
The book is clear and understandable and helps put their "hacks" into perspective by introducing a problem and possible solution. I especially like the "What you can do tomorrow" section and even though I am not a new librarian, I plan to incorporate some of these ideas tomorrow!
"WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS THAT IT BREAKS EVERYTHING DOWN INTO MANAGEABLE SECTIONS. IN THOSE SECTIONS YOU ARE GIVEN SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY! SUCH AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE ESPECIALLY AS MEDIA SPECIALISTS ARE ALWAYS STRUGGLING TO STAY RELEVANT. THIS BOOK REALLY HELPS!" - CATHY CASTELLI
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR SEEING INTO WHAT WE ARE AND OUR MISSION! WELL WRITTEN AND GREAT IDEAS THAT SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS! I LOVE THIS RESOURCE!" - CAROL EVERHART CRITCHER
"THIS BOOK IS INVITING, WELL-ORGANIZED, AND CONTATINS IDEAS THAT ARE EASY TO IMPLEMENT. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE? FROM THE SKETCHNOTE-LIKE ICONS ON THE COVER TO THE CLEAR TABLE OF CONTENTS, THIS INFORMATION IS ON THE RIGHT track for school librarians. no offense to phd candidates, but i'd rather read something that gives me quick usable ideas i can use right now than someone's research dissertation on learning commons model. i have students to help, teachers to collaborate with, and a million other things I am juggling and trying to keep in the air at the same time. - CHARITY S. HARBECK, School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Literacy Coach at Franklinton High School in Franklinton, NC
PRAISE FOR KRISTINA'S WORK
"I am super excited to learn about both high tech and low tech ways to promote literature.
I feel that over the years, I lost myself and my students with the primary focus always being on research. I want to go back to book talks and making library enjoyable (again).
Thank you for your inspiration!"
- Cara Lauber, library media specialist
"Kristina is a librarian's librarian!"
- Ali Schilpp, 2018 SLJ School Librarian of the Year
"Kristina is an engaging guest speaker who offers rich and varied approaches for participants to take part in and contribute. My graduate students leave the classroom feeling motivated, excited and ready to put their learning into practice in their own classrooms."
Dr. Karen Megay-Nespoli, Director of the Literacy and Cognition Graduate Program,
St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue
"i have followed kristina holzweiss on social media for many years. she's always on the cutting edge of the newest tools and activities in education. she was one of the first school librarians i saw who had her students using flipgrid, breakout edu, bloxels, and so many other great resources. i am awestruck by her ingenuity and her passion for helping students and educators thrive. i also appreciate her ideas for empathy and diversity." - tonya fletcher