Information Needs, Lessons, Library Instruction, Life Skills, Uncategorized

Library Instruction or Life Skills – Is there Really a Difference

When thinking about what we teach sometimes I wonder…is it all about classroom learning or is it something more?  I know we have an important job – teaching the kids – giving them knowledge they need to succeed in life.  And for us librarians, its really about teaching the skills more than just the facts.  If they can master the way to do something instead of just the ‘correct’ answer then we are doing our job.  Kinda like that give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish …

But, what about those life skills.  I know teaching life skills to students belongs in schools.  Where else can the kids get a look at how the world of work actually works.  Where else can they learn that they do a job and based on that job they get a reward or not so much.    Especially those in need districts, because lets face it most of those kids don’t even get the basics in life,  let alone someone who is going to actually teach those kids how to get ahead.  Unfortunately this falls to the school and the teachers.  And in library we have the unique opportunity to teach thes skills.

I always told my kids (students, but somehow they all become my kids) that there was always a lesson in what I was teaching them.  Sometimes it is a ‘how to do something’ and sometimes it is a ‘life lesson,’ showing them a real world situation that they may find; for example — if I pick groups for them to work in instead of allowing them to work with their friends- when they get a job, they won’t always get to work with their friends and they won’t always be friends with who they work with.   If they are bonus but if not how are you going to work with someone you don’t like, or someone who doesn’t like you?

And tell them what you are trying to teach them – don’t just assume they know.  They are kids after all.  They are really only concerned with lunch; their friends or being done with school.

Author: SL

SL has been a elementary/middle school librarian for over 13 year having received my MLS from SUNY Albany, in Albany, New York. SL has worked in a variety of settings from rural to urban, with different populations. She is currently the librarian at RCS Middle School. She lives near Albany, New York with her husband and three children.

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