YA Programming

We discussed teen programming the other day and my first thoughts were something along the lines of, "What the hell do I know about library programs?" and, "Crap, I'm so uninformed." As the librarians in the group began discussing the components of effective teen programming, and programs they had run in their libraries, I was struck by how familiar it all felt. Hands on projects that extended from the book, bridging the gap between literature and reality, creating/fostering critical thinking and analysis skills, discussing alternate understanding of the text . . . Hey, programming is a lot like . . . teaching?! Then I rolled my eyes at my idiocy and jumped into my group's discussion.

There are obvious differences between creating a library program around a book and teaching that book in a classroom. But there are striking similarities, as well. Especially for us teachers of kids with special needs. Students with cognitive or language impairments, kids with learning disabilities, emotionally disturbed kids, English Language Learners, highly kinesthetic learners . . . they all need teachers to engage their whole selves in a book, and they need high-interest, thought-and-conversation-provoking activities to scaffold their understanding of the text. They need to do meaningful, fun work around that text, and they need to talk about it. A lot.

If only our local libraries were running programs on what the local schools were reading . . . or, you know, the teachers and school library media specialists ever talked. But that's a-whole-nother post.

1 comment:

  1. 1. I love reading what you write--you're great at it, and should probably consider keeping a professional blog or try blogging for an organization like YALSA or AASL.
    2. You're dead on about programming--it is like teaching in a way, but in a public library forum, it's a little more low key and relaxed. Plus, we get to kick the kids out of they misbehave :)
    3. Glad you did jump into the conversation. I always love hearing what you have to say.