Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TLA Wrap-Up: Mindset

This year's TLA conference in San Antonio was one of the best in recent memory. Books, authors, instruction, technology, leadership - there was something for everyone! There was so much great stuff that I can't fit it all into one blog post, so my next few posts will highlight some of the things that I learned during the week.

Tech Camp Pre-Conference

This year marked the beginning of what I hope will be a recurring event: Tech Camp! This pre-conference was a whole day of information on all aspects of technology in the school library context.

As past-chair of TASL, I got a behind the scenes look at the madness that is setting up for an event with 400 expected participants. Stuffing door prize bags, organizing t-shirts and then handing out said bags and t-shirts is not for the faint of heart or sore of foot! (Special thanks to Debbie for being my t-shirt runner during morning registration.)

The next time you see any of the organizers or volunteers, please express your appreciation. TLA Conference could not run without them!

Tech Camp door prize bags ready to go!

Levels of Technology Integration

Dr. Bruce Ellis from TCEA kicked off the morning talking about levels of technology integration and the challenges of working with teachers with varying skill levels. He shared a few technology integration models that you can take a look at if you are interested:

Texas STaR Chart
Technology Integration Matrix

What I really found interesting, though, was the information that he shared about Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. She has done research on the effect your mindset has on success and achievement. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she describes two types of mindset.

In a fixed mindset - people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success - without effort. They're wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all people have had these qualities.

When trying new things like integrating technology or co-teaching in the library, we have to cultivate the growth mindset where sustained effort produces results. No one is great at something the first time they try it. Building relationships with colleagues, encouraging a growth mindset and recognizing effort are all best practices you can use to foster improvement - in yourself and in your teachers.


  1. As I looked back at my notes from his keynote I had taken a photo of the screen that said "Recommended Best Practices" I had forgotten he had BUILD RELATIONSHIPS listed 3 times in the list. So important!!

  2. Thanks for commenting, ladies! When we are working with first year librarians, we talk about how important it is to build relationships, but it's really important for all of us - all the time.