It seems there are many –
Logistics – Lack of time to meet and plan during working hours. If planning does occur it is usually done informally, chatting at recess or lunch, via email. it seems that allocated planning time is rare, particularly between classroom and specialist teachers.
Principal support – strong leadership and support of the process is crucial to facilitate opportunities for shared experience and learning.
Motivation – If there is no shared vision, there is no motivation to build collegial relationships. Sharing common goals and values motivates people to excel and learn (Senge, 2007, p.9)
Trust and respect – Lack of understanding and awareness of one another’s expertise prohibits commitment to collaborative relationships. Collaborative cultures value diversity (Fullan, 1999).
Fragmentation and overload V Connectedness (Senge, 2007)
I believe the teacher librarian does have a positive role to play in the curriculum. CPT provides the opportunity to share and combine expertise, to learn new skills, improve pedagogical knowledge, problem solve, build confidence, build respectful professional and personal relationships. Teacher librarians involved in collaborative instruction can have positive impact on student learning outcomes (Todd, 2008). Team teaching creates opportunity for individualised attention to students, promotion of library services and resources, better information literacy instruction (integrated learning), more effective class management.
This cool video was sent to me by a work colleague.
Gail Bush, Ph.D., professor in the National College of Education at National Louis University, Chicago
I love this poster by Joyce Valenza. It really captures and affirms the role of teacher librarian as information literacy leader/specialist/teacher. The poster however, reminds me that teaching information literacy, although important, fits only some of the role statements (SLASA, 2003) or Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians (ASLA, 2004) in relation to teaching and learning. Where does teaching literacy and literature promotion fit into “what do TL’s teach”? According to ASLA’s standards, excellent teacher librarians should also “foster an environment where learners are encouraged and empowered to read, view, listen and respond for understanding andenjoyment“. SLASA’s Role Statement clearly outlines that Literature promotion is also a key role of the teacher librarian. Exposing students to a range of genres, fostering a love of reading for leisure, promoting quality literature and collaborating with teacher’s to develop literature based reading programs is also an important role of the TL.
Australian School Library Association. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm
School Library Association of South Australia. (2008). Teacher librarian role statement. Retrieved from http://www.slasa.asn.au/Advocacy/rolestatement.html