Over the years I have worked hard to stand up for issues of equity and social justice in education. I have also worked (alongside my husband) to raise our 4 daughters to stand up for themselves and others and to be loving and inclusive of all people. This week I am putting some finishing touches on a workshop which opens the conversation about social justice education through the lens of poverty and class. I felt privileged and thrilled to be asked to assist in facilitating the session with the head of our library department and our equity resource teachers. I am always nervous to be included in such accomplished company but so appreciate the learning that comes with this form of collaborative discussion.
While I often go into this type of planning with lots of passion, ideas and experiences I realize that I have sometimes failed to go back to the current and historical research to support my equity stance. This weekend while reviewing some of the text we are using to guide our planning I rediscovered what I love about academic non-fiction reading and research. The ability to read a text and gain new understanding, collect new data and interpret new information from the author(s) is exhilarating (for me it is at least).
So this leads me to ask – am I doing all I can to pass on this love of non-fiction text and research-based inquiry learning to my students?
As a teacher librarian I have many goals that guide my practice but I have always said that my primary role is to instil love of reading. So this week, as I prepare to gather with colleagues to discuss challenging issues like poverty and class, I will also reflect on and reassess my work to ensure that love of reading not only includes but also honours and celebrates the growth that non-fiction reading can bring.