To start, let me say that I have always been what I call a "fringe" educator. I was a special education teacher, tutor, ARD (IEP meeting) facilitator, and now, a librarian. You know--those folks on the fringe of general education, offering support from the sidelines, not teaching in a general ed classroom.
But that doesn't mean I don't get to see or know what goes on in those rooms. Even now, when I rarely have time to venture from my library, I hear about my students' classes. So I know what you're doing, teachers.
...reading books to your students. I know this because they make connections between what I read during storytime and what you've read to them. The older students come to me asking for a copy of your read-aloud book so they can read ahead, or the next in a series that you got them hooked on.
...supporting your students' reading life by bringing them to the library. I am so lucky to have every grade level, preK through fifth, receive library time every week. It makes me feel validated as your librarian and proud of my colleagues for recognizing the value of strong library programs in schools.
...working on those writing skills, as evidenced by projects I get to display, thank you notes from students...and the occasional "I'm sorry" note after an unruly library visit.
...teaching them cool stuff in your science and social studies units--I get asked for books about those, too. You get them excited about cheetahs, George Washington, volcanoes, bugs, and the Civil War.
...making connections through music, art, and PE. I was reading a book about motion today to kindergarteners, and when I asked them what word can describe going fast or slow, one said, "It's tempo!". I was looking for "speed", but had to smile and agree that it was absolutely correct in the musical sense.
Whenever a teacher comes to the library, I get some mini-collaboration time with him or her. My colleagues are great about offering book suggestions, asking for support with concepts and skills we can cover in the library, and brainstorming new ways to use technology.
And I get invited to visit their classrooms, too, for book talks and story times and presentations.
So maybe I'm not on the fringe as much as I thought. Maybe I get to be at the center of this wonderful learning environment. It's not a bad gig, if you can get it.