Teachers and librarians are like salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Ketchup and mustard. Both sides of the pair are delightful on their own, and at times you might just want or need one or the other. Put them together, though, and you often get something that’s more than just the sum of its parts.
As a children’s librarian I am deeply in awe of teachers. I work with children in manageable little chunks of an hour here and an hour there. Planning and facilitating an entire day’s worth of quality education, day in and day out, for a diverse group of kidlets is a feat of exceptional commitment and dedication.
Those of us who work with children’s literature can learn a lot from teachers. Whether it’s the latest cognitive development and pedagogical theories, fresh and exciting ideas for using mentor texts and children’s literature in group settings, or suggestions of hot new titles to add to a collection, teachers can be a fantastic resource.
Thankfully teachers are by and large generous and collaborative individuals, and there is a lot of brilliant information available on the internet. I follow a lot of teachers’ (and teacher-librarians’) blogs, particularly those dedicated to children’s literature. To help you get started on your own journey of literary discovery, here are just a few of my favourite teacher/TL blogs:
Carrie Gelson is a primary school teacher in Vancouver, Canada (hometown pride!) whose love of books and reading is only matched by her unwavering commitment to her students. Follow her blog and be prepared to be both enlightened and inspired.
Written by a Technology Integration specialist in Chicago, Teach Mentor Text is a “blog that focuses on sharing books that can be used to promote all areas of literacy.” Mentor texts are well-written books that can be used as an example of high quality writing for students, and you can find fantastic examples of mentor texts on this frequently-updated blog.
A middle school teacher and a high school teacher decided to create a blog just for teachers (though I don’t think they mind the rest of us sneaking in!) that would help teachers find great books for their students. What makes this blog so valuable is the added features the authors include with every review, including suggested reading levels, read-alikes, and suggestions for how to use the texts in the classroom. A practical, readily applicable children’s literature resource.
An elementary school educator with a passion for picture books and middle grade fiction is the driving force behind this fantastic book blog, which is also the host of a weekly nonfiction book linkup. Visit frequently for book reviews and author interviews.
If you love The Book Wars you’ll likely love the Nerdy Book Club, too. Book lovers from all over come together to discuss their shared obsession with children’s literature. Teachers, librarians, writers and readers of all sorts share book reviews and opinions pieces on a blog that is guaranteed to delight.
Do you have any favourite teachers’ blogs that you think I should know about? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about them!