Glad to read a ‘sensible’ review of a forgotten and eroding asset. Sadly the ratio of Teacher-Librarians (TL) in schools is way down. Relentlessly, TLs have been advocating their virtues for 2 decades but largely have gone unheeded. Not a single educator in 1975 would be heard espousing the slashing of this valuable specialist. The skills, training, experience and positioning of a TL provides unique collaboration, personalization, innovation and support in vital areas like project learning, technology and literacy. Who better supports and rallies behind the love and benefits of reading? Thanks Huffington Post! For publishing Mr. Williams.
Yohuru Williams Headshot
Historian, professor, education activist and author of Teaching US History Beyond the Textbook (2008)
In the broad constellation of professionals who make up public schools, it is important to pause and acknowledge the forgotten education professionals who aide and support teachers. These include the librarians, nurses, social workers, learning specialists, and guidance counselors. They contribute to the growth and development of our young people but often find themselves left out of broader discussions about the preservation of public education. They provide a range of critical support and intervention frequently invisible to us. Most certainly, their value has escaped the notice of so-called education reformers and politicians. All too often, these champions of a “new order” have taken aim at the forgotten teachers in their ever-expanding quest to cut public school funding.
To be clear, budget and personnel cuts have hurt the profession across the board. However, professionals in these areas bear greater risk, given widespread misperceptions about the essential services they provide that remain vital to public schools. As a youngster, for instance, I benefitted from the expertise of a speech pathologist in helping me overcome a minor speech impediment. Having the problem addressed early in my education boosted my self-esteem and ended years of torment at the hands of insensitive friends and classmates. I would not have understood this as a significant moment of formation in my academic and personal growth if not for countless recent news stories about proposed cuts to these position in school districts across the country.(Huffington)