I have always loved reading. I also knew I wanted to be a K-6 teacher thanks to the encouragement of my year 5 teacher who went on to become the teacher-librarian. For a few of my teen years, I toyed with the idea of being a librarian instead of teaching, but glad I chose the role I did. Mind you, when I was post-principal years, I got to do some relief teacher-librarian work in a modern school and loved it. Especially reading to the kids. Of all ages!
My daughter’s story.
She began reading at around 3-4 years of age. We did not ‘teach’ her as such but she was immersed in language – written and spoken, along with books once she was born. A somewhat reluctant entry to teaching, she found her feet with classes in Primary School (3-6) and loved her involvement in sporting programs. Over the years, her teacher-life shifted gears when she was offered the chance to be a teacher-librarian for a couple of years at her then school and she relished it. I am not sure the weekends spent at school were always relished but thanks to that success, another opportunity came her way.
A big one. To start a new school’s library. She applied for this and was accepted. Into a brand new (then in 2015) school in Sydney’s north west. She got to buy the first books, set up the physical library and start all the ‘back end’ stuff that takes forever…accessioning, covering and more, whilst getting ready to welcome the new students to the new school. I visited her back then, and it was a joy to see her in her element and some of “my old resources and furniture” in a place where it belonged. I know the school library has changed significantly since then, but considering this only happened within 2 months of school opening (for the first intake of students!) I think it is awesome. No Mum bias.
But to retain the position, this single mum of 4, had to comply with another requirement. THIS is the reason why it is so important to have properly trained and experienced teacher-librarians. She needed to have a Masters of Education (Teacher/Librarianship) within two years. That, my friends, is a big ask, with some leave from the role to guide her family through some of life’s transitions and some health hurdles to overcome, with an extension granted, she DID achieve this….and she is here, last December, at her graduation. (proud mum moment: she is wearing the same M.Ed cloak I wore for my graduation at Charles Sturt University some decades before!)
From the site: Students Need School Libraries. Here is what the campaign outlines as its purpose via sample newsletters to parents which is why I am using it here.
Students Need School Libraries
- Did you know… that your school library supports your child to engage with a diverse range of books to extend their imagination and develop a lifelong love of reading?
- Did you know… that school libraries are responsive and collaborative learning spaces that provide students with access to a wide range of resources that are relevant and appropriate to their learning needs?
- Did you know… that school libraries support your child to reach their potential by teaching them how to become capable researchers and to navigate the world of online information and fake news?
- Did you know… that teacher librarians hold specialised qualifications as both a teacher and a librarian? Quality library staff are trained to support keen and reluctant, successful and struggling learners.
Students need school libraries. If you are keen to ensure that EVERY child in Australia has access to a quality school library, check out the information available at https://studentsneedschoollibraries.org.au