In the last two years, I’ve done a better job of tackling challenges with patience and optimism. Every now and then, though, a tsunami of worry, frustration, and questioning crashes upon me (as I know it does many of you, too), typically in the middle of the night. Around 1:00 I literally woke up thinking about an array of fundamental educational issues that impact my work as a school librarian and The Unquiet Library program.
So for the last two hours now, I’ve been contemplating and worrying about problems with teacher-librarian collaboration and within grade levels/departments, public education in general, and the blinders that NCLB and Race to the Top have imposed/are putting on our ability to have a larger vision for learning and the purpose of schools beyond test scores. I’m feeling a sudden and intense wave of impatience with piecemeal progress; I’m also sad and angry that as a profession (and by that, I mean educators in general), we have acquiesced to a vision of teaching and learning that ultimately has done more harm than good to students, teachers, and our communities. Also worrisome: these concerns are not even on the radar of so many because they don’t perceive these problems exist. This is one of those times I want a box of dynamite, not a plastic spoon, to move these mountains.
I’m sipping warm skim milk and thinking now about better ways to tackle these challenges; writing will come later out of these wee small hours of the morning. Sometimes just articulating the worries, even in a short blog post or series of Tweets, is the first step to re-visualizing the problems and finding more effective solutions or at the very least, inviting conversations to help us think through these challenges together (yes, everyone has challenges!). Maybe I need to sleep with my superlibrarian cape on at night?