Letters: Adding Class
Reminder of an accurate portrayal of an inner city school.
I think there was a fairly significant oversight on the part of Dan Ouellette in "Tube Teachers: Television Isn't All That Bad" (September 2006). Though he rated "some of the best-known school shows of the past five decades," he omitted Fox TV's Boston Public. It's been some time since the show was on the air, but as I recall, I found the show to be a fair and honest portrayal of the challenges educators face working in an inner city environment.
Of course, certain story lines were occasionally overemphasized for the sake of drama (it is television, after all), but the show presented a good balance between student and teacher story lines, and did so with realism and honesty. And because the story lines carried over from week to week, there was no need to wrap everything up neatly in thirty or sixty minutes, as with some of the other shows mentioned in the article. I have never seen another TV show (or movie, for that matter) that provided a more accurate representation of what goes on in some of our country's most difficult schools than Boston Public.
Thank you for providing an excellent magazine full of great ideas and encouragement for teachers. I enjoy every issue.
Learn from the Librarians
In "Teacher Preparation: Learn from the Masters" (July/August 2006), the authors outline what the members of the Teacher Leaders Network brainstormed about "an ideal teacher-preparation and teacher-induction program." In those five paragraphs, nothing was mentioned about what school librarians and media specialists can do to make classroom teachers' jobs easier.
For example, as a middle school/high school librarian, I support teachers (they, not the students, are my first clients -- if I can serve fifty-five teachers with the resources they need to be good teachers, then I am automatically serving 500 students). New teachers, as well as new principals, need to be educated on the benefits of a strong school-library program. It benefits them as well as the students.