Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Musing on a Teacher Workday

We won't even begin to discuss the things that are wrong with this picture from a multicultural perspective. Let's just say that, like the vocabulary choices in Mark Twain, this was a product of its time. We are looking at yours truly in 1971. The headdress was for my first grade reading class; for every book we read aloud to our parents, we got a feather. I read 109 books. I'm surprised my parents didn't abandoned me at the side of the highway half way through the month. I just like the picture because I remember feeling VERY proud of myself. It proves that I have been reading insanely for a long time.

Anyway, after processing new books, weeding books that smelled (that's how well I have done at weeding recently!), labeling accelerated reader books, dusting shelves (Black shelves. GREAT idea!), doing a ton of purchasing paperwork, cleaning out the back room and spending an inordinate amount of time checking Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Random House, and the other libraries in my district for ANY possible football, basketball or war book I could have missed (=none, sadly), I got to thinking about The Blog.

Feel free to comment on the following questions. Or not.

1. Should I switch to Wordpress so I could have separate pages for lists and things?
2. Should I change the name of the blog to more adequately reflect content and/or sound cooler?
3. The background? Is it working?
4. Anything I should change about the format/content?
5. Does anybody care?

I'd like to make it to 100 followers by my Fifth Blogiversary, which is coming up on February 16th. No idea why. Just one of those things to shoot for, like 109 construction paper feathers on an oak tag headband!


  1. If pages is one of the main reasons why you were considering switching to Word Press, Blogger has Pages now too.

  2. Keep it easy, stay with blogger. They have pages too. I made some (but haven't updated them in a while...)

    I like the name. I sing it to the tune of the "Martha Speaks" theme song. "Ms. Yingling Reads and reads and reads and reads and reads!"

    Background is fine but that's another cool thing with the blogger update. You can change backgrounds on a whim.

    I think all is fine. Your style of reviewing is great. I always like news from the library job, so more of that wouldn't hurt.

    Keep up the good work!


  3. Congrats on your blogiversary! I started mine 4 months ago, so 5 years seems like quite the achievement.

    I concur that it's probably better to stick with blogger. Wordpress is nice (I have a blog on each) but has its own quirks, and I find posting images easier on blogger.

    I would also be hesitant to change the name of your blog, especially after 5 years. Have fun with experimenting and changing the look of your blog, though. Just like painting a room a different color or buying new pillows for the couch, it's fun to spruce up one's blog. Go for it!

  4. I agree with Jim. Your style is great and the title is great and the new format is way beyond great. As he said, keep up the good work!!

  5. 1. if you switch, i'll have to update my RSS feed. i'm lazy!
    2. i like your blog's name just fine.
    3. i get your blog via RSS, so i don't see your background. you should do what makes you happy!
    4. i like to hear about your readers!
    5. i care!

  6. I'm also quite happy with your look and content, but I can understand that you might like to do something different. But I'd be sad to see you change the blog name, as I think it's cool and can always remember it.

  7. I really impressed with what you do here. I'm also jealous of the amount of reading you do and the money your district must provide to update your collection. Our district doesn't even have a certified librarian, only an aid in the middle school and elementary library and no library at all in the high school. I keep my classroom shelves stock with new stuff out of my own pocket. *Sigh*

    PS - I understand the problem with BLACK shelves. Another *Sigh*


  8. I'm so happy you commented on Book Love so I could come over and check out your blog! I'm now a new follower, and I'm heading straight to your Heart of a Samuari review. I had not even heard of that book before the ALA awards, and now I'm super curious to find out why it's so great!

  9. Format isn't a big deal to me, b/c I read everything in a feed, so I rarely actually look at blogs, unless I'm commenting. I wouldn't change your name - you've got a nice, snappy name that's easy to recommend to my fellow librarians (-:)

  10. I've been coming to read your blog for a long while now. I teach a grade 5/6 in a country school in Australia. I have used so many of the books you have reviewed with my students with such success.
    I would say just keep doing what you're doing because it's wonderful.
    Your blog is the first one I look at everyday.
    I do have one question. What is the age range of children in your "middle school"
    I have now become a follower of your blog to help you with your quest to reach your target.
    Keep up the fantastic work.

  11. Background reminds me of the table surfaces in your 'brary. FWIW.

    Don't change the name!

    I love your content & style of reviewing, especially the more recent weaknesses & strengths paragraphs.

    Don't change locations - you could lose readership b/c people have your current location bookmarked. Sure, you could do a redirect and all... but if the Blogspot offers similar features, why change? ;-)

  12. I would change anything. The blogger pages are great to use and you can have up to 10. You can even put images and links on them.

    I understand the idea of changing the name, but would keep it anyway. I have considered changing my blog name also, but now people seem used to it. When I chose The Children's War my reasoning was do clear to me, but apparently not to everyone. But Ms. Yingling Reads is so clear and familiar.

  13. I have pages in my blogger blog; not many, but they are there....

    I'm not a huge fan of the graph paper or the bright yellow of the post it notes, because I find both distracting, but since I read you in google reader it is moderatly moot as far as I am concerned.

    And I don't thing there's any need to change your name. It's a good name.

  14. Anonymous5:05 PM EST

    I am a new follower, but I really do like the look! To be honest it is fresh, cool, clean--like the top of a a dream desk with all the cataloguing done, reports written, mends that why I like it so much.

    And on the blog name, I wonder if it's already a brand in a way? I like the sound of it and already associate your name with the content--if that makes any sort of sense.

  15. Anonymous4:34 AM EST

    1. Stay with Blogger. You can have up to 10 pages.
    2. It sounds fine.
    3. Sure. :)
    4. No, looks good.
    5. Of course.

    That's amazing that you did five years of blogging. I'm only on my second year.

  16. I've been enjoying your reviews, which are nicely concise and acknowledge weaknesses as well as strengths. The format and name are fine, I think! If you were a Smith or Jones, perhaps not. But "Ms. Yingling" has the lovely triple internal rhyme of those short i's, and then the -s at the end of "Reads" hisses in counterpoint to the one in Ms.

  17. I like your blog and I read it daily. I work in the elementary schools but I have 5th graders asking for something different to read. So I suggest some of your reviewed books. Thanks.

  18. Five years...or five months? How could I have missed your blog if you have been around for five years?

    I'm your 93rd follower! Love to have you follow back. I love children's books, too.

  19. Your blog is perfect just the way it is, btw. I was feeling envious at your smooth layout.

  20. oh wow, I had a feathered "book" headdress like this too. I remember that each genre was represented by a different color. Biography was purple. I had a lot of purple feathers I remember. I was a biography reader. This must have been some idea in a teacher magazine.

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