Two key enduring understandings from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for 21st Learners frame my educational philosophy:
“Reading is a window to the world” (AASL).
Reading is the cornerstone skill for life-long academic and personal success. I role model an active reading life and mentor all my students and colleagues in developing sustained, engaged reading lives for themselves. Reading matters for all subjects and personal inquiry. By putting reading at the center of the work of international school libraries, from author visits to decoding nonfiction texts, from reading in the content area to reading for pure pleasure, I know that my library program positively influences and supports the continued growth of my students’ social, emotional, and intellectual lives.
“Inquiry provides a framework for learning” (AASL).
Reading is the backbone of successful inquiry and knowledge creation. The ability to formulate and ask complex questions and then develop informed, multi-dimensional answers and solutions to problems comprises the core research strategies that students must master. The amount of content and formats that students must learn to navigate and use independently will continue to grow exponentially. This is an exciting world for our students to explore both personally and academically. They require the skills and abilities to think critically about what they read, understand the way information and ideas are created and consumed, and make wise, confident choices for their learning and their contributions to the world. Students need to be provided with systematic opportunities to inquire, act, and create in the world of ideas and information through inquiry-based units of instruction that maximize their access and use of information resources in the school library and throughout their lives.
Addressing these enduring understandings every day through my work in school library programs ensures that the school communities that I serve are supported by excellent, cutting-edge library services and instruction. My educational philosophy for libraries is one that both supports the central mission and vision of the school and promotes students’ life-long enjoyment of and engagement in the world of libraries, ideas, and information.