These past two weeks I have attended two out of school events which confirmed and challenged my thinking. The first was to a lecture by a Singaporean professor, Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal who has conducted in-depth research into using picture books for social emotional learning. Her blog is Gathering Books. She spoke about a research fellowship in Europe, showed a fascinating interview of herself with author Benjamin Alire Saenz (who wrote Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe….which I am now currently reading) and shared lists of picture books that may be used across all ages for multiple themes. While many of the titles are very familiar to me and our school library collection, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about others which I can now quickly look to add.
The second event was presented by my friend, teacher librarian colleague (and Master’s in arms), Nadine Bailey at the recent PYP Connect workshops at one of the international schools here on a rainy Saturday morning. Nadine spoke eloquently and knowledgeably about a subject close to her own heart – first language (L1) and the challenges of supporting our students who come to our schools with English as an additional language. You can read more about Nadine’s challenge to schools here on her blog Informative Flights. It made me realize that as librarians while we can support our students with providing resources in their L1, and resources to support and engage them as they develop their English language, the issue goes way beyond the library space to embrace the whole school community. It still leaves me pondering how I can support these students in other ways.