We live in a time where discussions around education tend to focus on: teacher salary, labor negotiations, budget cuts, No Child Left Behind, layoffs, test scores, and the mysterious 10% of teachers that are bad. In this time of negativity what we should be discussing are people like teacher-librarian John Schumacher. John dignifies what so many of us feel education should be about: the kids.
If you are reading this blog I am guessing that you know John as Mr. Schu or on twitter as @mrschureads. John goes above and beyond to not only meet the needs of his readers, but readers throughout the world. Fourth graders in my school probably think Mr. Schu is our remote librarian.
I have never spoken to John, but I consider him a friend. We met on Twitter, and a day does not go by where John does not help me become a better teachers. It may be through a book trailer on his blog (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/), a book recommendation, a great idea for a book display, or words of encouragement. When I start school this year I will be a better teacher because of John Schumacher.
I am looking forward to meeting John in November at the perfect location, his favorite independent bookstore. I CAN’T WAIT!
Yesterday I took a copy of Darth Paper Strikes Back to my public library where I live in Albion, MI. I handed it to the librarian and said, “I would like to donate this book in honor of Mr. Schu.” She was so happy. The question of Who is Mr. Schu didn’t have to come up. Plenty of times she has heard me talk about his work.
It felt good to give a book to a struggling library. Knowing that because of Mr. Schu, a young reader will get a chance to read a book that may change their life, is what we should be talking about when we discuss education.