November 16, 2017

Sherry Gick | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Educators

Sherry Gick

vitals

CURRENT POSITION
Library and Instructional Technology Specialist, Rossville Consolidated Schools, IN

DEGREE
MS, Elementary Education, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, 2001; MLS, Indiana University, 2011

FOLLOW
@LibraryFanatic; thelibraryfanatic.com; library.rcsd.k12.in.us; @RMHSLibrary

Photo by Bob Stefko

Fail-Safe

“I think we need to teach and show students that failure is a very real part of life and learning,” says Sherry Gick, who was the librarian for Rossville Consolidated Schools in Indiana for five years before becoming the district’s K−12 library and instructional technology specialist in 2014. Gick embraces the pedagogy of “meaningful failure,” emphasizing the process of learning. “The library is a great place to demonstrate this and allow students to try many different things,” she says.

Creating both a physical and mental space that “students don’t want to leave” was part of Gick’s initiative to develop a safe space for kids. Through grant writing and Donors Choose, her library has been transformed into a hangout hot spot, with a large leather couch, a chair, an ottoman, bean bags, and plush carpet, to which students flock to talk comic books, request books they’d like, or create Post-it art in her library’s window display.

“I try to be a listener in the library,” says Gick, “[and] have an ear for students who need to talk.” Selected as one of Scholastic’s 2014 “Ten School Librarians To Follow on Twitter,” she doesn’t just apply her philosophy of meaningful failure to her students but to herself as well. The 2014 School Library Journal Buzz Award finalist was selected to be one of the educators to participate in Evanced Solution’s pilot reading engagement programs for both Wandoo Reader and Wandoo Planet. She tested the programs out on a group of second and third graders, as well as on her own son. “It wasn’t a success, according to Sherry, but [that’s] okay,” says Lindsay Hill, reading engagement innovator at Evanced Solutions, who nominated Gick. “She levels the playing field for all the kids…and knows [they] are going to be passionate about things they love.”

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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Comments

  1. Congratulations, Sherry! You are an inspiration to us all! Thank you for your words and your work on meaningful failure, embracing exploration, and striving for ways to level up! You ROCK!!!

  2. Hearty congratulations and very good comments… kindly send me your e-mail to tokwehosea@gmail.com and we can exchange ideas.

    Regards,

    Hosea Tokwe