Teacher-librarians make a difference

I’ve taught in elementary schools for more than 28 years and without a doubt, schools with strong library programs enhance literacy for students.

Sadly, it is schools with adequate, qualified, competent teacher-librarian staffing that can make a huge difference. I say “sadly” because with funding stresses, it has not been possible to provide this. Some schools do not have adequate teacher-librarian time. As I worked through the early 2000s, cuts were made yearly. Unfortunately, in our small school, the very competent teacher-librarian was unable to provide daily time for team-teaching, classroom support, nor educational, motivational book exchanges, since he was not in the school daily.

Now as a full-time classroom teacher in a larger school, I truly appreciate the enriched teaching opportunities with a full-time teacher-librarian. She and I are able to plan and team-teach research skills, utilizing all of the resources (hard copy and virtual) available in our school. Also, her willingness to share technology skills in the areas of research and representation of knowledge helps me to grow professionally. Our library collection is expertly maintained, updated and kept in circulation through her daily management.

We need to maintain (ideally increase) the supports within our schools for teaching and learning. Our students deserve no less.

Jennie Boulanger

Grade 4/5 Teacher

School District #41 - Burnaby

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