I would like to advocate to keep Rebecca Warner as a full-time teacher/librarian at Shaffer Elementary School. Besides being a 1st grade teacher, I have a K-12 Reading Specialist endorsement and am familiar with current research on what it schools need to do to produce students who are successful readers for life.
Still Fulfills Traditional Role
Rebecca fulfills the traditional role of teacher/librarian by keeping our library a full of current literature that students will find interesting and making sure it gets into their hands. She meets with the younger age classes each week introducing literature connected to what they are studying in the classroom.
She also shares her vast knowledge of books with students as they come to her with help on finding book selections geared towards their interests. They literally beg to go to the library to check out books each week.
Beyond the traditional role, Rebecca helps teachers and students integrate the latest technological advances into their learning in an appropriate, safe, manner. Classes come to her to do internet-based research on topics they are studying in the classroom. She aids teachers and students in locating information from web as well as book-based sources.
Helps Students Grow as Readers
She holds discussions on suitable Internet usage and the validity of information found on the Internet. In addition to her role as teacher/librarian Rebecca helps our school in other critical ways. This year kindergarten and first grade students are all involved in what we call, “Target Club”. She has a large group of 24 students allowing other teachers to work in smaller groups with more at risk readers. The activities she undertakes with these readers keep them challenged and growing as readers, such as guiding them in creating their own websites so they can post questions about the books they are reading for their parents to read and answer at home.
She also takes time to help with interventions with the afternoon kindergarten class that is not involved in the morning Target Club. Rebecca also is part of the flooding group that is coming into kindergarten and first grade classrooms this week to complete mid-year screening assessments. This group of teachers will assess classrooms of students in one day, instead of the usual two or three weeks it takes to do them, allowing teachers to get back to regular classroom reading instruction quicker to address instructional needs.
Her expertise as a teacher/librarian allows us to turn over students to her without having to train her in what to do, so important in this time-crunched world with larger classes and less resources.
On a larger scale, it is her expertise as a teacher/librarian that makes her valuable in our school performing tasks that a paraprofessional simply would not have the training to perform such as: matching student interests in reading to appropriate book choices, training students in proper Internet usage, guiding students to independence in locating research sources in print sources as well as on the Internet, taking part in teaching students during our intervention block without guidance, assisting in assessing students allowing teachers more classroom instructional time.
Full-Time Teacher-Librarians Contribute to Distinguished Education
To replace teacher/librarians with paraprofessionals would suffice at a minimal level, but it would like making a choice between buying a book at Walmart compared to The Tattered Cover.
This district can drop down and be with the Walmarts of Colorado, or we can find a way to keep teacher/librarians full-time in our schools to add their part to offering a distinguished education to our students.Blog Posts, Library Stories, Uncategorized