Saved by the bell

Bell Work

My sister is a middle school teacher. I am a librarian. We hang out quite a bit, often with one another’s friends, so she hears a lot of library talk and I hear plenty of school talk, too. She thinks the idea of teaching adults is scary (“They don’t listen!”). I think facing one hundred 7th and 8th graders every day is… terrifying.

The other day I overheard her talking to another teacher about “bell work”. I asked what the term referred to and she told me it’s an activity that students begin as they enter the classroom. The idea is to engage them immediately.

I started thinking about training events and how there is that time before the workshop begins… people chat or wander or grab coffee and a cookie if that’s an option. I usually try to plan an icebreaker that gets things warmed up, sets a tone for the training. But I wonder if I could do something with that pre-workshop time. I’m not talking busy work. Something fun. Something relevant. Something that gets the participants thinking about and excited about the topic we’re there to cover. Warm-up for the brain….

Has anyone used “bell work” in their library trainings? I would love to hear your examples!

Resources for Trainers, Tools for trainers, Train the trainer opportunities

Lori Reed – WJ Webinar – June 10th

Ooo! I am especially excited about this upcoming webinar! I am consistently impressed with Lori Reed’s ideas about training and am looking forward to getting to work with her more (she’s getting involved with some cool things we’re doing at MaintainIT). I’m definitely planning to attend this free WebJunction webinar next week.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library
6/10/08 11 AM-12 PM PT / 2-3 PM ET

How much time does your library spend on “training?” Statistics show that most learning takes place on the job or with a coworker, yet as trainers we spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for and delivering classroom training. In this webinar you will learn why you need to get your staff out of the classroom and instead focus on creating a culture of learning in your library.

We will explore:

  • The differences between training and learning
  • The benefits to libraries for creating a culture of learning
  • The key elements of a learning organization
  • Tips for creating a culture of learning in any size library

Presented by guest speaker Lori Reed, Training Specialist for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.