A random pair of comments by colleagues led me to today’s post. First, the school social worker asked me if it was O.K. to have some of her students make bookmarks to be distributed in the media center. Just a few minutes later, a math teacher expressed surprise and admiration that I had invited students to produce my typical February “We Love Reading” bulletin board. How sad that school staff expresses surprise that students get to make and do things in the school library. I clearly have work to do here.
This post by Hilda K. Weisburg, encouraged me that I was not the only one wrestling with this issue. I believe that students must have ownership in order to truly learn. Pushing from the top down or acting like we adults pour knowledge into empty vessels are both recipes for anger and failure for both students and teacher/librarians. May we always remember that students feel ownership of our space and process if we want to breed success.