I was too exhausted last night to post these thoughts and I hope I didn’t sleep out my enthusiasm and the essence of this message. But, here we go…
I feel very privileged to be asked to become involved with the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians Association (BCTLA). I’m looking forward to working with this group of passionately professionally-dedicated individuals. I only hope that I can contribute to this already wise and experience group of educators. To be honest, it was kinda surreal that here I was sitting with a group of individuals that I have admired, asked for help from, listened to their words, read their posting to the list-serve and followed on twitter–Karen, Val, Heather, Sylvia, Moira–sitting at a table across from me; sharing their experience and their stories, oh the stories.
And the passion. If there is a group of intelligent and well-spoken professionals that you want in your corner when you’re facing trouble, this group of amazing women are the one’s you want ‘watching your back’. The level of passion for the job is/was palpable and I listened and tried not to get too involved, nodding my head as the wisdom and ideas collectively fused as the best collaborators in education, teacher-librarians, got rolling!
And I think I’m starting to understand what keeps these people connected and passionate about their association and its goals. Why do Val and Lynn continue to be actively involved in the association although obviously enjoying retirement? It is simply this: it is the mutual respect and collegiality that they have for their association, their students, their profession, and each other. Many education advocacy ‘groups’ espouse change and improvements to our education system in British Columbia, but the BCTLA is honest and true–and makes changes–despite the fact that bureaucrats in Victoria continue to put pressure on school districts and then of course, on schools to make the hard decisions that continue to decimate our school libraries. The BCTLA keeps on trucking as resources funding dries up and many more schools are becoming library ‘have-nots’.
A wise, ‘seasoned’ colleague of mine who has been on the College of Teachers, a member of several PSAs, active in our BCTF local, worked in the Ministry of Education, and been a classroom teacher for nearly 35 years, Mr. Peter Myles really set the big picture for me about a year ago (paraphrasing): A teacher works from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday while a true professional works to better improve his or her working conditions and continues to develop their skills, trades, and abilities for the betterment of education as a whole.
Count me in.
So, how I am going to contribute to the effects of the BCTLA as a professional?
I would LOVE to take on Drop Everything and Read and continue the work and passion of Karen Lindsay. I want to continue my studies in teacher-librarianship at the University of Alberta. I want to continue to be an active member on the BCTLA list-serve. I want to continue to serve my students, and collaborate with my teachers, and work with my colleagues in the BCTLA.
Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship…