I am working today with some advocacy issues surrounding our state's implementation of ESSA, specifically, what I want our state superintendent of schools to know about where school libraries sit in relation to terms like "equitable access," "digital literacy", "skills continuum," and "well-rounded education."
So, because it's just what I do, I drew a picture while I tried to sort out a metaphor in my head.
OK, first let me tell you that it's only because I'm reading Brene Brown that I'm even willing to let anyone see this really rough drawing and hear my thinking process. I'm much more comfortable sharing things that are finished than stuff as it happens, but my brain is so full of things going on all at once that I needed to slow down and they to have my thoughts one at a time.
Let me talk through what I'm thinking. So a student's natural curiosity is like a flashlight beam. And it works on literacy. Maybe literacy is the batteries to the flashlight, then? Because it's only when you have a solid foundation in literacy that curiosity becomes powerful.
So that beam travels straight ahead until it hits a prism. That's school, I guess? Because somewhere, we segment up different kinds of wondering into science, and social studies, and arts, and math, and all that. And those are a kind of lens, too, because we're teaching kids to do is to wonder like a scientist, or wonder like a historian, or like a mathematician, or like an artist, or like a researcher.
When the light comes back into focus again through the different lenses, it combines to make a picture of something real, because eventually we want students to combine all this content knowledge into real-authentic applications. So the beams all come together and make a picture on the wall. And here's the deal: Libraries provide the wall (a place to unite content knowledge into a real-world situation) AND the batteries (the literacy skills that started this whole journey in the first place.
So maybe the words I'm looking for aren't focus and context. So what are the words to describe what libraries bring to the table in the process? Power and focus?
Still thinking. But at least I got these to slow down for a minute.