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ACRL Immersion Reflections

drawing of me, explosion, and ideas

My drawing of a lesson from Parker Palmer

I’m at ACRL Immersion this week which is fortunately in lovely Burlington, VT at Champlain College. It is overwhelming and I’m meeting tons of people and getting tons of information. I’m actually squeezing this post in between dinner and yoga. I wanted to take some time to reflect on my experience so far though and share things I’ve found helpful for immersion and my career.

  • Take time to reflect – That’s what I’m doing right now. Here at Immersion I try to squeeze in precious minutes to reflect on what I learned and what it means to me. But this should be done at work to. Reflect on what you’re doing. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Take time to just think and not necessarily be creating something. Have your students in class reflect too. That’s where ideas can be born and meaning can be found.
  • Real experts don’t sit at a desk, they talk to people in the world – I got this from a great video we watched about the design company IDEO. You can theorize all you want, but the real information is out in the world. We make assumptions about students all the time, but rarely examine them or ask their opinions. I know I want to take more time talking to students about assumptions or just observing people when I get back.
  • The people you surround yourself with make a difference – Immersion is tons of work and it’s easy to get tired and less engaged. But the people here are a self selected group. They’re people who wanted to come to improve their teaching. The other Immersionites are engaged, participating, or even asking me questions. They push me when I’m tired and help make me better. If you surround yourself with engaged, curious, dynamic people it helps you to be better and improve.
  • Stay passionate, keep things fresh – Burnout happens. I’ve only just celebrated my second year of librarianship, but over time things can get stale and you can become burned out. You need to work on keeping your passion alive. Keep your teaching or your job fresh. Try new ideas often. Try out some different technology or slides in the classroom. Experiment and be willing to fail.

There is tons more I’ve taken in still have three more days. I highly recommend Immersion to anyone though. And for people who have attended or are currently attending I’d love to hear other things you’ve taken away or advice you might have.

Andy Burkhardt