Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Your Common Core Secret Weapon

I am so lucky to work with two fabulous librarians and friends, Tamara Cox and Monique German.  We have made it our mission to make sure that we are indispensible to our schools and our districts, and when we started hearing talk of the Commom Core Standards, we started listening closely.  Tamara invited herself to a meeting, we volunteered to lead staff development, and we started talking about how the librarian is really your secret weapon when it comes to implementing Common Core Standards.  This was the beginning of what has become a very fun ride!  Our district has started asking us for advice and help when it comes to all things Common Core, and we are happy to step up and offer anything we can provide!  We are quick to let everyone know we are not experts on every aspect of the new standards, but we are able to use our expert knowledge of inquiry, research, informational text and literature to help make the transition to the Common Core easier and less scary for our teachers.  When they come running, and often panicking, we are ready with a solution or a resource.

We presented at the Upstate Technology Conference in Greenville, SC to a group of administrators about how they can use their media specialist as their Common Core Secret Weapon.  Many were pleasantly surprised that they have a wonderful resource already waiting in their schools, and they were overwhelmingly supportive of the ideas that we offered!

We are excited to talk about how we are becoming the Common Core Secret Weapons at our schools at the TL Virtual Cafe on October 1 at 8pm.  We hope to "see" many of you there and hear about the ways you are helping to implement the Common Core into your own schools.  

Still wondering where you fit in the implementation process at your school?  The time is now!  Jump right in, and don't wait to be asked to join the party.  Bring the party to you!  You will quickly become the go to person for calming the fears of the new Common Core Standards.  You don't have to know everything about them, I certainly don't, but you can offer what you know best...inquiry, research, resources and literature.  You've got it all!

Check out this EdWeek article about the role of the school librarian in Common Core.  I think you will see that much of what is being done by librarians around the country is what we have always done, but now we are getting more attention.  We don't always crave attention, but that is what is going to make our jobs indispensable.  So I challenge you all to get out there, invite yourself to a meeting, talk to your principals and reassure your teachers.  Our time is now, and we can all work together to show the education world that we are an integral part of our school teams!

Happy planning!


  1. Nice post. So proud of you for representing us so well in the article. Looking forward to our webinars:)

  2. I can't wait! I'm most excited to learn from others. I love new ideas!

  3. Such a great article in EdWeek. Love the blog!!
    Maybe I'm not seeing it, but do you have email subscription to the blog? Thanks!

  4. Thank you so much, Jenny! I did not have a place to subscribe, and I did not realize it. It is there now on the right hand side. Thanks for asking so I could fix it!

  5. Awesome! Thank you! That was speedy. : )

  6. It was a simple click of a button! I like that kind of fix!

  7. Hi Kristen,

    Our district is in the process of really looking at the roles of their school library media specialists and several of us have been pushing how we can align our curriculum (or in some cases create one!) to the Common Core. However, I really like how you are pushing that we can help with all the Common Core standards with all the teachers. How did your presentation go last night? And is there a place where it can be viewed on the web, or would you be willing to share it so others could get some ideas? Great article in EdWeek too, which is how I found your blog!

  8. Hi Tasha! It has worked really well for us to help with all of the Common Core standards rather than limiting ourselves to a few. This has shown that we are a curriculum and teaching partner rather than a separate entity. Our presentation went well, and you can find instructions to view it on the TL Virtual Cafe wiki. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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