By Angela Leeper

Although my first job out of college as a middle school French teacher didn’t suit me, I still wanted to remain in education and have an impact on student development. After earning my M.L.I.S., I served several years as a librarian for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, where I became more familiar with differentiation, cross-curricular instruction, project-based learning, and other pedagogical strategies. I’ve now been in my current position at the University of Richmond for over a decade. As the Director of the Curriculum Materials Center (a fancy name for the library for the Department of Education), I provide numerous services to students training to be teachers and practicing teachers already in the classroom. 

Throughout all of these library experiences, I’ve noticed the same needs from teachers. Teachers are on the front lines providing direct instruction, but they don’t always know the best resources to facilitate their instruction. Librarians, on the other hand, are experts in connecting people to resources, especially with Core Collections at hand. To help with this endeavor, Core Collections now offers recommended teacher resources! 

These professional resources are not simply books with ready-made worksheets. Instead, these professional teacher resources comprise a mix of best practices in pedagogy, from tried-and-true to newer, soon-to-be-classics, for elementary, middle, and high schools. They cover a wide range of subject areas from Jo Anne Vasquez’s STEM Lesson Essentials to Alan Sitomer and Michael Cirelli’s Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classics to Yohuru Rashied Williams’ Teaching U.S. History Beyond the Textbook. Also included are current trends and topics that span all grades, like Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski’s The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox, Dannelle D. Stevens and Antonia J. Levi’s Introduction to Rubrics, and Susan E. Craig’s Trauma-Sensitive Schools. Numerous titles that help teachers understand and implement diversity, such as Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain and Christopher Emdin’s For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Y'all Too, provide even more relevant resources. 

To help promote these latest additions to Core Collections, librarians and school library media specialists can continue to anticipate and respond to teachers’ needs by searching for the topics most applicable to their schools. Use SU Educator Resources to start your search — you can further refine by using subjects for Primary or Secondary education, or on subject matter. Librarians and media specialists can also guide teachers to become users of Core Collections along with them. In either case, teachers will benefit with access to high-quality professional resources — and librarians and media specialists will remain the rock star providers they’ve always been. 

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Angela Leeper is the Director of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Richmond.