I long to know a lot of things.
With curiosity I'm cursed;
But teacher tells me that I must
Complete my education first. - Rebecca McCann
The little verse and Calvin strip above perfectly illustrate why I was much happier as a school librarian than I was as a classroom teacher. In my seven years as an English teacher, I don't know that I ever encountered a student who really wanted to read Lord of the Flies or write a five-paragraph expository paper. Perhaps there are some out there, but the best I expected and got from kids was quiet acquiesce, an understanding that learning the mandated curriculum was a hoop through which one must jump to get to one's third year of college when the course work became meaningful and relevant.
But the library was different. Yes, kids used it to meet classroom requirements, but we pre-Internet subversive librarians also made sure the collection included resources on topics that we knew kids loved - sports and romance and science fiction and pop culture. As a librarian, I worked with kids who actually enjoyed learning.
There are, of course, genius classroom teachers who have always found clever ways to personalize the standard curriculum and experience the joy of working with willing readers, writers, researchers, and creators. Somehow we need to help every classroom teacher acquire this ability.