As a new TL who has long admired and cherished a great school library I have to admit that teaching as a librarian can be difficult at times. The school I am working at this year has had many years of very part time TL positions- positions that were spread amongst other responsibilities in the school. Lucky this year our school was rewarded a .5 library position, so I am able to spend half of my day in the library working with classes. I love getting time with the whole population of the school. I do find that I want to work the library more as a teaching/learning space then a quiet book exchange area and it is taking some time to show the classroom teachers this. I have some great ideas about how to collaborate with classroom teachers and I am looking forward to working together with my staff. I reached out to my elementary school TL and she shared with me a story about hurdles she faced as a TL. She said slowly but surely teachers on her staff came on board and utilized her and her knowledge as another resource. They began to see the library for something other than a book exchange. That is my goal and I am very excited! I am going to do a better job of checking in with each classroom teacher each week- what are they looking for to extend the learning of their students, how can I help?
I believe that as TLs we can share our knowledge in a variety of ways. We can take part in after school meetings, create learning groups, offer after school knowledge sharing, write up on the staffroom meeting board. It can be as simple as sharing a website for your fellow teachers to check out. I plan to hold a little meeting with my staff after this weekend. I hope to learn all sorts of great stuff at the BCTLA conference this weekend! the ‘learn at night’ idea is a great way to include the community in the thoughts and learning projects happening inside the school. Our principal holds fireside chats every couple of months and invites parents and community members into the school so they can discuss and share their thoughts, concerns and ideas together.
At our school we have a collection of resources : themed units, professional publications, Adriene Gear Texts. Our library would definitely benefit from some more technology- a couple of iPads or tablets would work really well. While cleaning out my library I found an old camcorder from 2000. A once great tool that is now totally obsolete. Unfortunately tapes are no longer made for cams like this one and their isn’t any way to plug the cam into a computer! Having an iPad or two would be quite helpful to record students from my reading groups, and to be used for classroom research projects. Our school would also benefit from access to an online database- possibly a province wide space for TLs to share their knowledge and what they are working on in their libraries. I’m sure that attending the BCTLA conference will show me many cool projects that are going on in libraries around the province.
After looking up ICT I learned that it stands for information and communications technology. This is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application: radio, tv, cell phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellites. One thing I will do this year is include the teachers in any decisions that are made about technology purchases for the library. I would like the purchases to be useful in every classroom. I will also talk with my fellow staff members about creating maker spaces in the library. I think that many students would be able to show a deeper level of learning and deepen their inquiry with access to create and show their learning in new ways.