Job-embedded Professional Development: That’s what preservice school principals have been taking away from presentations I have been making at a preservice Professional Development and Supervision course. Thanks to my TWU educational leadership colleague Dr. Teresa Starrett I have had three opportunities in three different semesters to talk with three different classes of principal candidates.
In the one-hour workshop, we look at research and standards and most importantly of all, we demonstrate the potential impact of classroom-library collaboration for instruction on students’ learning outcomes and educators’ teaching.
Serving in the role of school librarian, I model cooperation and contrast it with a collaborative coplanning session with a classroom teacher. On November 5th, one of the preservice principals role-played a middle school social studies teacher. While we cooperated and collaborated, the class made notes about the benefits to students, educators, or principals. This week, I will post the results for each of these library stakeholders.
The photo above shows the “benefits to principals” identified by one group. All three times I have offered this workshop, preservice principals have noted “job-embedded professional development” as the number one benefit to principals. Yes, they are in a course in which this aspect of their future jobs is being stressed, but this also shows me that principals are seeking support in this area. To know they have someone in the library who is working closely with all the teachers in the building to improve instructional practices is a godsend.
They are also aware of the importance of building relationships in order to develop a positive school climate. (And I hope they have the goal of building a culture of collaboration in mind as well.)
If you are a school librarian, if asked, what would your principal say is your greatest contribution to the learning community in your school and how does your principal benefit from your work?