Open Book: September 2022
Q&A with Mark Angle-Hobson
Mark Angle-Hobson is the Director of Education Services for SOESD.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing educators today?
I believe staffing is the biggest challenge facing educators today. As I enter my 29th year as an educator, it’s not surprising that we have many retirements and fewer new educators entering the profession. What we couldn’t anticipate is the acceleration of this trend due to the pandemic. Schools exist for teaching and learning. Fewer credentialed and experienced educators make it harder for everyone in the system to be successful.
What do you think educators should focus on right now?
Educators should be (and are) focused on helping students recover academically and emotionally from the pandemic. It’s never been more important for educators to teach the most essential content while also intentionally attending to the mental health needs of students. We must ensure students feel a sense of safety, significance and belonging while ensuring students master the foundational skills needed to recover academically from pandemic disruption.
How can people in the community help to support educators?
One way that community members can support educators is by reaching out to your neighborhood school to inquire about volunteer or donation opportunities. As a former elementary principal, I was so grateful for people who were willing to come to the school to read to children, participate in career fairs, donate school supplies, bake cookies for the staff room, help set up for or clean up after big events, and other tasks where extra hands and hearts were needed. (For those interested in volunteering at your local school, be sure to include time in your schedule to complete the background check and other requirements necessary for working directly with children.)
What changes do you see happening in public education in the next few years?
We learned a lot during pandemic-related closures about remote learning, alternate ways of communicating, and digital resources and content. I hope that the future of public education incorporates the best of what we learned with the best we were doing already to create a more individualized and differentiated approach that improves experiences and outcomes for all.
Education Services Offerings
- Lesson plan development
- Co-teaching and collaboration
- Curated booklists
- An educator resources newsletter full of tips, tools, and more
For Your Students:
- Read alouds and class activities
- An introduction to library services, materials, and resources
- In-depth tutorials on specific resources or databases
We can visit the classroom or host you at any JCLS branch!
For Your School:
- Tabling at literacy nights and open houses
- Stickers! Giveaways! Library cards issued on the spot!