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Workshop with GVM Trainee Teachers
March 25, 2015
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Written by Krystal

In the last year, Bookworm has been requested by the management of the GVM Teacher Training Institute, Ponda to conduct sessions with the trainees to equip them to have a well planed and fully functional library program within their schools and classes.

In taking this on, the first (and most crucial) was to understand the notions about library and the imaginations for library work that the trainee teachers held. We found them to be traditional and not surprisingly so. 99% of our present teaching population have never had a positive experience around libraries and are not library users. So the journey is hard!

Having elicited from them some of these thoughts, we found the list to be long, and included:

  1. Librarians are boring and scary- ?!?!?! Say this to any member of the Bookworm team and they are not likely to take it well.
  2. Reading Aloud is easy- When asked this question, they all emphatically and cheerfully answered “YES”. I waited a moment and then responded equally emphatically, “NO!”. Reading Aloud and lesson planning is not easy. What I realized later is reading aloud to most uninformed is simply picking up a text and reading aloud. However from a library practice point of view, reading aloud means a rather different thing altogether. We had work to do!
  3. Libraries are quiet spaces- “OFCOURSE!” “YES!” “ALWAYS”; they responded. Tell that to a bunch of preschoolers! If libraries are to be spaces where children learn and interact, use language and share their worlds and connect with the story would; then there is going to be certain amount of a buzz in the space. Here’s the thing, books bring about all these wonderful reactions, so why not let the children be allowed to engage in it?!
  4. Books are not for touching- Pray tell how would one turn the pages?! And why not let the children touch the books?! That’s all I’ll say about that.
  5. Libraries are not ‘active’ spaces- This is not true. Libraries SHOULD be active spaces. Why not use activities and draw children (and even adults) to a library?

Heaven help! The list (utter antitheses of Bookworm practice) went on! Hearing all of these brought to the fore the harsh reality of the mind-set of educators and the state of libraries.

Now came the hard part! Changing these notions and reforming the practice. If there is one thing we are certain that stories do, it is to create an experience that is personal and intimate to each reader/listener that is unique in its own way. And so, we did just this. We enabled the trainees to have their own experiences with story books, in as many ways as possible!

And so it was in the duration of these workshops that they…

Listened to stories!
Listened to stories

Read stories & Lesson Planned!
Read Stories & Lesson Planned

Told Stories!
Told Stories

Discussed!
Discussed

Crafted & Created!
Crafted & Created

Drew & Coloured!
 Drew & Coloured

….and hopefully began the journey towards evolving into passionate and committed story tellers and story readers & ‘good librarians’

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This is & will always be our aim; to spread the love for storybooks & reading; that a wider audience may benefit and be engaged by this magical world.

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