Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I am totally amazed by the amount of information that is out in the cloud that proves the worth of school librarians (and any librarian, really). We are uniquely suited to the task of inquiry learning. Think about the reference interview. We are often leading students in the devBelopment of a thesis statement. We are trained to hone topics to be specific without being too specific. We are trained how to train others to be digital consumers and good digital citizens. Wherever the statement "Librarian: the original search engine" came from, it came from someone who understood that sometimes that personal contact is far more important than the information sought.

As I work toward making my physical and online presence more learner and inquiry friendly, I am awash with ways and how-tos. It's difficult to know where to start but perhaps, my friend, Jennifer LaGarde., has the answer. She has blogged her ideas for how to most effectively get our know-how out into the public view. (See her blogpost at http://www.librarygirl.net/2013/04/school-library-marketing-101-its-about.html?utm_source=feedly)

Time...if only there were more of it. I'm sitting now at the gate at my high school for a soccer game. What am I doing work, one might ask. Well, a teacher's job (and that's what all school librarians are first and foremost), can not be done within the confines of the contracted 7 hour day. I know many business people who guffaw at what they call a "do-nothing" job but they haven't been in the trenches. I've been in their trench before, having worked over 10 years in the corporate world. And, while it's no "walk in the park" in the business world either, it doesn't really hold a candle to what happens to teachers everyday. A lot of people give me the "well you get the summer's off" defense. But for the best teachers, even that isn't true. In two days, just this week, I've worked 20 hours and will work at least 9 on Thursday. That's 44 hours for the week, if I work just the contracted time and meetings already in place. This is a slow and short week for me. Add grading, inputting grades, lesson planning and suddenly you have a 50-60 work week (of which, I get paid only for 40 hours). It's not that I'm complaining, it's that I want people to understand, teaching is a calling, it's not a profession, it's something you do because you are passionate about children and the future. It certainly isn't for the money (with my degrees in the corporate world, I would probably be making at least twice as much), it isn't for the great hours, and it certainly isn't for the parents of students who never do anything wrong in the parents eyes. It's because we care, we want to make a better future and understand that our students can only succeed with quality education.

Try this on for size...How about we ask the teachers about teaching and leave the politics to those professionals who desire political power?

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