VAASL 2018 Conference

I was so excited to attend my second VAASL conference.  My first session was with the author April Henry.  Her presentation was excellent, and I was able to take away the information about her writing and resources she would use with students.  I am going to have my student enter into the contest for mystery writing on her website.  At the end of the session, I was able to meet April Henry.  Her quote, “You can edit bad stuff, but you can’t edit nothing” resonated with me because I currently teach a writing class.

My next session was Keva Planks.  I love Keva Planks.  The presenter was awesome and shared that on the Keva Planks website there are ideas for using the planks in any classroom.  The activity I liked the most was creating an “image” that represents a book and explaining how it does.

I also attended the sessions on collaborating with secondary math teachers and graphic novels in the classroom and library.  Overall, these two sessions also provided me with resources to use in my future library.

In the future, I plan on attending all the days of the conference.


VAASL 2018 Conference

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend at the VAASL (Virginia Association of School Librarians) conference in Williamsburg.  This was my first library conference and it was a memorable experience. I was exposed to so many of the latest and greatest in library trends, materials and online sources and received a wealth of information that will be useful in my future library.  The most impactful aspect of the weekend was the focused sessions on emerging trends.  They were far more in depth than I expected and detailed 50 new educational websites and apps, 82 children’s books published in 2018, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR & VR) for library use, audiobooks, library lessons and resources for the nonfiction books on the 2018 VRC (Virginia Reader’s Choice) list.  This conference was a surprisingly hands-on experience that made my library education come to life and made me even more passionate for library learning.  It was a learning experience that was beyond what I get in my current graduate classes. I learned so much from the conference and can’t wait to make attending an annual tradition since the experience was so meaningful.

My 1st VAASL Conference

Rebecca Caufman

This year’s Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Conference was held in Williamsburg, Virginia on November 29 through December 1st.  Attending this conference is a requirement for each graduate student in Longwood’s School Librarianship program. Since it was my first time attending the conference I got a special tag for my name badge and invitation to a tea where I got free breakfast and free books!  The first day was jammed packed with activities that started at 9am and went to 9pm. I got ideas on being a first year librarian, makerspaces, digital resources, copyright law, and video projects. I ended that day at the Longwood University alumni gathering in a room that was jammed packed full of Lancers.  My second day at the conference I learned more about makerspaces, how to have a student driven library, and met some amazing authors – Alan Gratz and Victoria Jamieson. Hearing these authors’ stories was my favorite part of the conference. I am thankful that Longwood requires students to attend this conference.  I see the conference as an important way to get inspired, encouraged, and connected with others in the field.

VAASL Conference 2018

I attended the VAASL Conference for School Librarians on Saturday December 1st, 2018. I benefited a lot from attending this conference to help prepare me to come a school librarian in the near future. The first session I attended was about a Britannica Online, a reference site that is very user friendly for students to navigate and find reliable research resources. The website offers accommodations for students who are visually and hearing impaired, as well as ESL students. The second session I attended was all about pre-created lessons that I now have access to. These lesson plans are for the librarian to use in all subject areas, including choir, art, and health/PE. This conference was beneficial and I hope to attend again in the future.

VAASL Conference 2018

This past week I was honored with the opportunity to attend the VAASL (Virginia Association of School Librarians annual conference in Williamsburg. Though this was not my first year as as an attendee, it was my first time ever as a presenter at a conference; it was so exciting while also a bit nerve-wracking! The best part was getting the opportunity to network with amazing librarians across the state as well as coming away with so many wonderful new ideas that I can’t wait to implement in my library. Several of the sessions that I attended focused on utilizing the newest Virginia Reader’s Choice selections across the curriculum which I think will be very beneficial for my students and teachers. Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend this worthwhile conference!

VA Association of School Librarians Conference

I attended one day of the VAASL Conference on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018.  I was immediately amazed by the enthusiasm and excitement that each person had for their jobs!  The presenter in the first session I attended discussed her first year as a school librarian and all the wonderful things she did.  The keynote speaker was amazing and her focus was on Maker Space and STEM in the library.  All of the sessions I attended were informative, but I think the most beneficial to my future as a librarian was the one entitled “Connecting the Dots.”  This session connected many picture books with STEM activities to use with younger students.

I left the conference with many great ideas and increased enthusiasm for completing the school librarianship program!  Below is a picture of me with the presenters of the “Connecting the Dots” presentation, one of whom is a Longwood student also!

VAASL 2018 Annual Conference

 (Sorry about the crazy pictures…they wouldn’t rotate for some reason!)

From November 29 through December 1, I had the great opportunity to attend the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) 2018 Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. The event was held at the historic Williamsburg Lodge right in the middle of colonial Williamsburg. The conference was my first of many (hopefully) as an aspiring school librarian. Perhaps I will BE a school librarian in my district by the next time I attend!

I was able to travel with a fellow alumni, Ashley Barker, who is the school librarian at my school, Tunstall Middle in Pittsylvania County. She goes every year, and she was excited to be able to bring me along and show me the ropes. The weekend was jam-packed with classes and large group sessions where we could hear from Virginia librarians and authors. One of our main group sessions was with Leslie Preddy, librarian and co-editor of School Library Connection. She spoke to us about maker spaces and how to make our libraries more exciting. During the other main group session, author Alan Gratz spoke to us about his novels and how he came to be an author. He was also around all day to sign his books. We also had a dinner where librarians throughout the state were honored, a School Librarian of the Year was awarded, and we heard from author April Henry. She is known for her mystery/thriller young adult novels, and she was fascinating.

Attending this conference taught me so very much. I was given useful, applicable tools to use in my classroom as a teacher and as a future librarian. I went to sessions that taught us how to set up a Battle of the Books and an effective book club. I learned how to help my special needs learners in the reading classroom. Librarians and professors showed up the most valuable web sites for teachers and librarians, and those chosen by the AASL for usefulness. I was inspired to come back to my classroom and emphasize all that I learned to help my students be more successful in their reading, but also in school in general. I also heard what it takes first hand to make a library an interactive learning space that helps the entire school, including faculty and staff.

I hope to make this conference an annual event to stay up on the newest developments in the school library, and to network and stay in touch with other librarians that want the best for their students just like me. Thank you so much for the opportunity to go!

VAASL Conference Fun!

I was fortunate enough to attend the conference this year in Williamsburg. I learned so much there! One of the new things I learned were all the benefits of having a maker space in the library. In the keynote speech, Leslie Preddy, shared how students are able to use their creativity and problem solving skills to learn from informal activities that encourage the development of critical thinking skills and fine motor skills. These activities are self-directed and driven by the students’ own interests. Creating library maker spaces  is an easy and inexpensive project that can be done with donations and grants. Offering a variety of activities of different levels of difficulty helps students develop resiliency and perseverance, skills that they will use for the rest of their time in school, in their careers and for the rest of their lives. I look forward to attending more conferences!

Virginia Counselors Association 2018 Annual Convention! Norfolk, VA.

Hello! My name is Jessica Bardenheier and I am a second year graduate student at Longwood University in the Counselor Education program, Mental Health Counseling Track. I recently attended the VCA Annual Convention in Norfolk, Virginia. It was an incredible experience! Many current students from the cohort attended as well as professors and alumni. I felt right at home with all the friendly faces!

The convention offered a wide variety of sessions, covering diverse topics in the field of counseling. As well, I attended an awards ceremony to be recognized by the Virginia Counselors Association Foundation as a 2018 Pete Warren Fellows. I got to receive the award from my current professor and Department Chair, Dr. Kevin Doyle. This made the whole experience feel like it came full-circle because of all the Lancer representation at the convention and awards ceremony! We filled two big tables!

My favorite sessions at the convention focused on trauma-informed care, self-care for clinicians, and utilizing the concept of “positive triggers” and compassion in crisis situations, in order to re-frame cognitions, and minimize traumatization on clients. I felt that everyone at the conference was like-minded in that there was a palpable passion for this helping profession being expressed and felt throughout. It was energizing to be around so many well-versed counselors from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia and to be able to learn and grow with them.

Specifically, it was especially refreshing to see so many sessions being presented by other graduate students, not just professors. This allowed me to see the depth of work that is being done at all levels of this profession and how many amazing, well-rounded Counselor Education programs there are in the state. I saw sessions from students at JMU, Virginia Tech, and others. Longwood was in good company at this convention! This also made me start thinking about doctoral programs once I graduate because of all the growth opportunities in this field.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have received a travel grant from Longwood for this event. Without it, I would not have been able to engage in this caliber of professional development in such an intentional and meaningful way. I highly recommend seeking out professional development opportunities and avenues to represent the graduate cohorts within Longwood Graduate Studies! This opportunity allowed me to grown in my professional and therapeutic identity as a counselor and graduate student. I am looking forward to VCA’s 2019 convention and to have an even great Longwood turnout!

VSCA Conference 2018

I had the opportunity to attend the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) Conference on October 17th-October 19th in Hampton, Virginia.  As a school counselor, it was awesome to learn new ways to support students in achieving their social/emotional, academic, and career goals.  I also had the opportunity to learn new activities and techniques to utilize when working with students.  One of my favorite sessions was “Calm Down Smack Down” during this session the participants learned how to create calm down stations for students to utilize during the school day.  I  had the opportunity to create mindfulness bottles and stress balls as part of the “Calm Down Smack Down” session.  Lastly, it was nice to network with counselors from the elementary, middle, and high school level.   I am looking forward to attending the VSCA conference next year!!!

VSCA Conference Picture

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