Monday, October 10, 2016

Let me advocate for co-teaching

The principles of good teaching that informed my work as a high school social studies teacher for twenty three years are as applicable in the library as they were in the classroom. But, there is so much about being a librarian that is different than being a classroom teacher. Here is one of the biggest changes. I used to think that a class load of 125 students in a semester was a lot. Now I have 1300. That is a lot.

My advocacy meme... will it work?
So here is the challenge: I work with all of the students in the high school. I have a responsibility to those students and to the fidelity with which we implement our library media, inquiry-based, research curriculum. And to be successful, I have to work with students in the context of their classes with other teachers.

Without a specific course load of my own, my collaboration with my colleagues is essential to fulfilling my curricular mandates and achieving my curricular objectives. If I am successful, students will benefit in direct and indirect ways from the work I and their other teachers do together. First, students will experience an increase in teacher attention and feedback by virtue of my co-teaching. And, second, by supporting classroom teachers in the infusion of technology in their instruction and project-based learning, students will experience a more personalized implementation of the curricula. Adding a teacher to a classroom cuts the student-teacher ratio in half so more students will receive direct support for their inquiry work during class time.

Teacher-Librarian collaboration is also an essential way to help classroom teachers enhance their effectiveness. I can help with unit and project planning and resource collection. I can co-teach lessons on inquiry and research. I can support the classroom teacher's instruction during content examination, I can help create and analyze formative assessments, differentiate, re-teach where necessary, and re-evaluate students' progress. And I embrace what we can learn from the reflection and de-briefing after an extended collaboration to determine how to best meet the varied needs of the students as the year unfolds.

As a classroom teacher, I did not make use of the opportunities provided by collaboration with my library media specialist. As a librarian, I am committed to forging the relationships that will encourage my colleagues to open their classrooms and their time and their energy to collaborating with me. I am happy to hear how other librarians advocate for their library programs and encourage their colleagues to embrace the opportunities collaboration offers and how it empowers students.

No comments:

Post a Comment