As discussed in Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School, school librarians truly can be the heart of of a school and a leader in developing new skills. I believe that in order for teacher librarian to achieve this status they must first make connections and get to know their colleagues. Through these connections, a teacher librarian can learn about how to best meet the ICT needs of their colleagues and in turn their colleagues can develop trust to know that TLs are both knowledgeable and there for them. It is only after a relationship or partnership is developed that a teacher librarian can begin to adopt a leadership role in developing new skills.
As the new teacher librarian at my school, I am still working on developing these relationships but in the meantime I am also working on incorporating new technologies into my own teaching practice. I love Alan Clark’s perspective discussed in his blog post Sharing Our Knowledge about how he sees modeling the usage of technology tools as one of the best ways to introduce colleagues to new technology. Classroom teachers have an incredibly full plate and modelling the use of new technologies allows them to see these new technologies in action as a helpful tool rather than as another item on an overwhelming to do list. As discussed in Leaders in technology: role of teacher librarians it is so important that technology is not just included for its own sake but rather to support teachers. Professional development “must also acknowledge the fact that teachers use a variety of techniques to teach. Teachers need to lecture, have group discussions, use pen and paper: technology alone will not deliver the desired outcome of a ‘critical thinker’. “
In terms of what tools are best to implement, I am still working on my own PD. In my district, we have a monthly district wide TL meeting to discuss new technologies and resources. From these meetings I weigh and measure which resources might be helpful for my colleagues at my school and deliver them during our weekly in school collaboration time. At the beginning of the school year, I provided staff with a list of web links via email and on paper that could be used to help support the transition to BC’s new curriculum. During our collaboration time we are working through this list of resources to give teachers hands on experience navigating these resources.
Another takeaway I have learned when sharing new technology and resources is that less is more. If you share too many resources at once it can be overwhelming.
In future, I would love to continue to develop connections and support teachers in real time but would also like to add an online support network as well. I believe developing a school library webpage where links to helpful resources for not only teachers but also parents and students can be centralized in one easy to find location would be a great start. With a website users can easily access information and resources when they need them and these can change and evolve as the needs of the users do.
Channel. “Principals Know: School Librarians Are the Heart of the School.” YouTube. YouTube, 04 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
Clark, Alan. “Sharing Our Knowledge.” Alans Adventures into New Media. WordPress, 20 Oct. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
MacKenzie, Jamie. “Leaders in Technology: Role of Teacher Librarians.”Access (2004). SCIS: School Catalog Information Services. Education Services Australia, Sept. 2004. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.