Librarians are teachers, too, and they have time, money, and knowledge to help teachers, coaches and admins in their myriad of tasks.
Librarians can provide valuable research instruction, aid significantly in content alignment, create classroom libraries, and provide alternative reading materials for students. Furthermore, librarians can help teachers create projects, special events and even bring in authors-all you have to do is ask!
Download the Let the Librarian Do It! Tip Sheet and share the seven ways the librarian can help faculty at your school with curriculum planning and implementation!
I desperately want to help make research easier for all teachers and students and would love to teach research all the time, to all of the classes. However, many teachers are anxious about giving up time and control in their classrooms and also worry about looking ignorant in front of the students and/or librarian.
If teachers and coaches provide set parameters about what skills should be taught and a project’s time frame, most librarians will do all the work!
The school librarian often has a budget for author visits, and can partner with the public library to co-host events and bring authors to your school.
Hosting an actual author brings a different level of enthusiasm for the book or theme a teacher or school is focused on, and students remember the visit and the messages long after the exciting day has come and gone.
I’m always encouraging our staff to read, but, recognizing the multiple demands put on every member of our building, I have been promoting the use of audiobooks as an alternative to sitting and reading. Staff from our custodian to our principal have embraced this alternative story delivery concept and can now begin to keep up with titles read by students and adults. Research shows that schools where adults are actively reading every day promotes literacy far more effectively than those schools that emphasize reading worksheets.
I have also promoted audiobook usage to our students, and several students who claimed never to have read any of their assigned reading, actually were able to complete their readings because they didn’t have to sit down in order to complete the task. The audiobook-positive culture being created allows students to embrace reading and literacy, no matter what their lexile level, and they actually make major strides in reading instruction when the audio and visual book media are paired.
Teachers can work with the school librarian to brainstorm STEAM projects, and also have the librarian help execute the activities.
Finally, the school librarian can help monitor students, be another set of hands to help students with their projects and, overall make an open-ended project less intimidating for educators and students.
As a teacher, I always wanted a unique space for our final projects and celebrations. I often asked my librarian if I could host my events in the library, and she always said yes. I, however, was one of the only teachers to do so. I encourage the library to be used in as many ways as possible; I hosted the NCTE African-American Read-In, TedX talks, Socratic Seminars, the Battle of the Books competition, and more for various teachers this past year.
The library is a welcome, inviting, playful, and scholarly space that shows students that their work is meaningful and their discussions are worthy. Don’t forget to just use the space whenever you can to change up the atmosphere for your students.