February 6, 2009

Librarians Aren't Teachers?!

So says the Dallas school district, interpreting Federal rules attached to one of those crazy pay-for-performance schemes.

Reading the email they got carefully, they're basically saying that librarians, counsellors and speech therapists are not teachers and are equivalent to the food service staff and the custodians.

I could go on a real rant here, but I won't.  I'll simply say that this helps me decide a question that until now, I thought was a bit silly.  There's apparently been a debate in the world of my future job, namely what should we call ourselves?  Media Specialists?  Librarians?  Teacher-Librarians?

It seemed silly to me until now.  Now I'm throwing my hat in with the Canadians and going for the title Teacher-Librarian.

The real silly thing is this pay-for-performance nonsense.  If you don't think every single person in the building is contributing to the education of these children--including our wonderful food service staff and custodians, then you are deluding yourself.

Yes, the classroom teachers get dumped on when it comes to the grading and the standardized tests and that is wrong.  But saying that that someone who, at least it our district, is required to have a minimum of a Master's degree and must go through the yearly teaching goals and observation ritual (that would be observations of teaching) is not a teacher is kidding themselves.

Ok, so I went into a rant...

(Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com)


doug0077 said...


I second your vote for teacher-librarian and for the very reasons you suggest.

The only thing I don't like is that it sounds like somebody's hyphenated last name.

Have a good weekend,


Teacherninja said...


It's sure doesn't trip lightly off the tongue, but I'll stick with it. Ironically, at my school ours was chosen as Teacher of the Year. Guess that won't be happening in Dallas.


toni said...

Wow! A perfect example of decisions based on finance and not performance. I say call all of you Teachers! But then they would have to pay the custodians more! lol (And seeing some of the things they have to clean up, they should!)

Teacherninja said...

You are right, Toni, it should be all or none.

Tricia said...

Obviously these folks haven't seen the standards for National Board Certification. It's all about teaching and collaborating.

Kathy said...

Lets hope Alvin doesn't read about this..... Luckily I think we in GA (and particularly in our district) have people who advocate heavily for our jobs and for the work we do. I still think in this kind of economic times we need to regularly toot our own horns and tell the world what we do - namely the principals, the school board, the politicians and the governor.

my personal favorite term to call myself is Media Goddess - but I guess that wouldn't work for you - LOL!

C. B. James said...

I been in four schools as a teacher. Only one of them had a trained, full-time librarian. The rest had either a clerk or a teacher running the library.

The trained librarian did the best job hands down. That school had an excellent research paper activity and a building full of students who were all up on the latest book. She was well worth every penny of her salary.

Christine said...

My kindergartener comes home on Tuesdays (Library Day) full of stories about what the "Library Teacher" (his term) read and taught and shared with his class.

Teacherninja said...

Tricia: I know! It's crazy.

Kathy: No, and I guess "Media Studmuffin" wouldn't go over as well. Maybe "King of all Media"...

C.B.: Thanks for noticing! I hope I'm as good as she was.

Christina: Aw, shucks, give that kid a hug from me.