Collaborative planning is another form of job-embedded professional development. In the one-hour workshop after observing cooperation and a collaboration planning session role play, the preservice principals in the TWU Professional Development and Supervision course identified the items (on the post-it pictured) as benefits to educators.
While this confirms to me that these practicing classroom teachers value the school librarian’s expertise as a resource provider, I noticed that building relationships appears on this group’s list as well as on the benefits-to-principals list. I believe that school leaders are more and more aware of the importance of nurturing a positive school climate. Educators who support the principal in that effort, school librarians included, are especially valuable members of the learning community.
STAAR (Texas standardized achievement test) and TEKS (Texas state standards) were third on their list. Of course, school librarians and classroom teachers with deep knowledge of curriculum and how it’s tested are important to these preservice principals. Administrators feel the pressure for addressing standards and improving test scores. They could see in the role play that an interdisciplinary approach allowed the educators to cover more ground while students experienced deeper learning experiences.
Win. Win. Win.
As instructional partners, the work of school librarians is integrated into the academic program of the school, increasing their potential to affect student achievement significantly. However, when school librarians are asked whom they serve “most would answer students, yet the primary clientele in terms of power, impact, and effect would be teachers” (Haycock, 2010, p. 3).
If you are a school librarian, if asked, what would your classroom teacher colleagues say is your greatest contribution to the learning community in your school and how do teachers benefit from coplanning and coteaching with you?
Haycock, K. (2010). Leadership from the middle: Building influence for change. In S. Coatney (Ed.), The many faces of school library leadership (pp. 1-12). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.