I am writing to you to express my concern about the proposed budget cut of reducing our teacher librarians to half-time positions in the elementary schools.
Impact of a Half-Time Teacher-Librarian
I am a first grade teacher at Campbell Elementary and this is our first year with a half-time teacher librarian at our school. Our current teacher librarian is doing a great job, but our students are not able to benefit from her expertise because she is only here one week at a time and then gone the following week.
Impacts Student Achievement
I can already see that this change will directly impact our student achievement in our schools.
Prior to this year, our library was a busy learning place with students actively engaged in meaningful projects in which teachers and our teacher librarian were teaching together.
Collaboration and Integrating Technology
Our teacher librarian was all about collaboration and integrating technology into our students’ learning. We would plan together, using the CAP document, in many content areas.
She was always able to help us see the possibilities with technology, her area of expertise.
Projects were fun and our students gained amazing skills with technology.
By the end of first grade, my students were able to research an animal, using books and Internet sites, to create e-books. They learned valuable research skills and did their writing using our laptops.
Power of Technology
The students experienced the power of technology by:
- locating and reading information on websites and then citing their sources
- synthesizing information
- toggling between the Internet and their e-book
- creating their writing by typing on laptops
- inserting clip art into their e-books
- learning how to save their work and finding it the next day
- creating an e-book (Power Point document)
- presenting their e-book to students and family on the Smart Board
- teaching their family how to view their presentations on our school website
1st Graders Master Tech Skills
These are all of the same skills that you or I do with technology every day and my first graders had mastered all of this with explicit teaching from my teacher librarian and myself.
I Needed My Teacher-Librarian
All of this important learning would not have been accomplished by myself – I needed the collaboration expertise, and co-teaching with my teacher librarian.
The impact of the decision to cut our teacher librarians to half-time positions is a mistake. By doing this, the impact on student achievement will be directly affected.
How are we going to prepare students for the 21st century, if we don’t have the skill and expertise of our teacher librarians?Blog Posts, Library Stories, What Teacher Librarians Do