Monday, April 22, 2013

Message from the IASL President
By Susan Feuerbach

What a Great Conference we had at The Hotel at Kirkwook Community College.  Thank you to all involved. Those of you who were there please continue to share the great things you learned and continue to collaborate with the colleagues that you connected with. As I reflect on our time together with you I feel the need to continue to challenge you to advocate for yourselves.
Several weeks ago one of my teachers came to me and said that a teacher in a neighboring school district had sent her an email asking her if she had a good lesson or unit on finding good sources on the internet.  My teacher replied to her that she usually worked with the teacher librarian when she taught that subject, but that she would talk to me and see if I would share some ideas. I responded with “Has she talked to her teacher librarian?”
I tell you this short story to make you ask yourself some questions.  What would your teachers respond to this colleague?  Would you be the first person they thought of? Would he or she be confident that you would be there to assist them in teaching this subject?
At the IASL conference I kept challenging you to take something home to show your teachers and administrators.  We need to be our best advocate in our districts.  Your teachers need to know how important you are and how you can help them meet those standards that are looming over their heads.  Share something at the copy machine, lunch room, hallway or classroom.  Stop in for a minute during a prep and tell them you have something to show them when they have a chance.
When I finish a project with a teacher I select a few and make sure the principal gets to see the project and how we worked together.  I also send him a quarterly report that along with circulation and library usage numbers I let him know how many times I met with teachers and how many projects we worked on together.  As we continue to implement the core standards I will add those to this quarterly report.
I will tell you that I was not always comfortable “promoting” myself and the program.  During the last twenty years as a teacher librarian I have come to the conclusion I would rather be promoting than trying to justify.
Susan Feuerbach
IASL President
Teacher Librarian
Camanche Elementary and Middle Schools