I have a When Teachers Go Above and Beyond moment. My elementary school Catholic teacher/librarian took us on a field trip to meet an author in a bookshop. The librarian never took anyone on field trips. But she went above and beyond for a handful of us that year. The author? Madeleine L’Engle.
Madeleine L’Engle is the author of numerous books including A Wrinkle in Time – which will be a major motion picture with Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling. She is kind of a big deal.
My librarian read aloud to us a chapter from L’Engle’s book each class (and I think it was, in fact, A Wrinkle in Time). Reading aloud is a great way to teach kids respect, patience, and fairness. A lost art really. Not only did we discuss the story and characters (as you would in library class) – she encouraged class creativity and curiosity surrounding the book. A group of us made a board game based on the story (we created a colour-coded board game, playing cards, playing pieces). It was innovation and collaboration in the classroom like no other.
Our field trip was to see Madeleine L’Engle. Our librarian arranged for us to meet the author, give her our board game, and receive autographed books of what was then her new book Camilla.
Now what does this mean to me? It was the first time I ever met a real life author. It was the first time I met someone “famous”. It was the first time I ever went anywhere with the librarian.
Beyond teaching me literacy and the dewy decimal system (back when dewy was the system), my librarian taught me to be creative and curious. She taught me that learning in the real world was valuable. She taught me to go above and beyond when I see a spark of passion.
And you do know…I’m an author myself now.
My teacher/librarian went above and beyond. I have found Catholic teachers deliver lessons that extend beyond math, science and history; providing larger lessons for life.
Nowadays, teachers can introduce students to experiences and experts without having to take the subway. Teacher Joe Grabowski organizes hundreds of virtual hangouts on Google and Skype, giving students in classrooms across North America a chance to learn from and interact with working scientists in the field. Joe uses these virtual field trips to show students the hidden corners as well as instilling a sense of global citizenship and environmental stewardship.
As an author, who does Google and Skype class visits myself — this feels very full-circle to me. My librarian took me to see an author. Now, librarians bring me (via Google and Skype) to see their students.
This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and the Ontario’s Catholic Teachers #CatholicTeachers sponsored program. I received compensation as thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. Visit http://www.catholicteachers.ca/LessonsForLife for more information.