This week we have a guest spot for our Teacher Librarian in the infant's school : Sally Tilley

 
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax



As libraries solidify their positions in schools as an information and inquiry hub, countless opportunities are emerging for TL’s to facilitate students spirit of service, environmental crusades and social justice actions. In line with the Australian Curriculum Cross-curriculum priority, Sustainabilty, we must provide opportunities ‘for students to develop an appreciation of the necessity of acting for a more sustainable future and so address the ongoing capacity of Earth to maintain all life and meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations’ (ACARA, 2013).

Students in both Primary and Secondary schools are moving through Inquiry units, which continually open up opportunities for ‘real life action’ and altruistic projects. Motivation for learning increases and self-esteem skyrockets and as students begin to realize their power as individuals to change their world…bring on the action research projects!

A K-2 library is a perfect springboard to harness young, enthusiastic, inquiring minds and open the doors for their passion for causes close to their hearts.
The key to facilitating a spirit of service and an environmental action plan is in the timing…strike while the iron’s hot! Running with issues in a meaningful ‘real-world’ manner, no matter how small or large their projects may be, creates individuals who ‘act’ rather than ‘watch’. Our 5 year old Transition students are currently investigating plants, and went off on a tangent of tree conservation, merrily followed along by their faithful TL in partnership with the classroom teacher. After a quick ‘sharing time’ at the beginning of the library lesson, an indignant 5 year old girl announced to the class that ‘monkeys were dying of boredom because they had no trees to swing on in Borneo’.  This opened up the doorway to a myriad of questions…What monkeys? Where? It then progressed with an email being written in class that day by the students to the Principal, requesting permission to fundraise for the Orangutans of Borneo.


The learning opportunities emerged…linking to Maths with money addition and counting/sorting, art and craft in a ‘maker-space’ for money box design, public speaking at assembly, persuasive writing for information posters, copyright lesson for Orangutan photos (acknowledgement of source), and most importantly, setting fund-raising rules because it was deemed ‘wrong just to ask your mum and dad for their money’ (they decided they would earn it by helping at home with extra jobs – a whoop of joy resounded amongst the parent community!).

The value of experiences that can be launched in the library environment to help nurture and foster our students’ belief in themselves and their power to make a difference in the world is immeasurable.

TLs are in the perfect position to step up to foster and nurture these enthusiastic, motivated and passionate advocates for a brighter future and sustainable environment.
We must harness the opportunity for students to develop an appreciation of the necessity of acting for a more sustainable future and so address the ongoing capacity of Earth to maintain all life and meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.

Sally Tilley Dip T., A.T.C.L., M. Ed (Teacher Librarianship)

REFERENCES

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