Learning is inherently social, yet teachers often work in isolation as they seek to grow in their practice. Genuine growth results from taking risks and withstanding failure: stepping outside our comfort zone and confronting our insecurities. Introducing innovation into our teaching practice can be scary for these reasons, and a supportive community can make all the difference. Communities of practice can help instruction librarians ensure ongoing professional development through the dialogic process of colleagues in conversation. But, this model can be a risky endeavor because the organic, non-hierarchical, and informal tone contrasts with traditional professional development modes. In this interactive workshop, participants will engage in directed activities such as reflective writing about professional learning experiences and practicing community-building exercises. Facilitators will guide participants through outlining a plan for a professional development event at their library that leverages social learning and respects differences in organizational climates. Participants will reflect on, select, and apply components of a community of practice that work for those who teach in their libraries, and will return to their institutions with strategies for engaging colleagues in informal learning, building trust through inclusiveness, and laying the groundwork for learning about teaching in their organizations.
Adjusting the gauge on your mower involves setting the distance between the reel and the cutting bar. The aim is to create the smallest possible space between the two. In addition to the gauge – or piece of paper – you’re also going to need some sort of adjustable wrench or spanner. Steve suggests that you use either an open end 10 mm wrench or a crescent wrench. Then all you do is put the paper between the two mower parts and tighten up on either side. Then use your finger to get the cutting blades mowing, taking care not to cut yourself. If you hear a metal-on-metal sound then the two parts are touching, which means you’ve tightened it too much. Steve doesn’t say this, but it’s pretty obvious.