Collaborative Planning: Benefits to Educators

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?

Reference

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.

This entry was posted in Collaborative Cultures, Professional Development and tagged , by Judi Moreillon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Judi Moreillon

Judi Moreillon, M.L.S, Ph.D., has served as a school librarian at every instructional level. In addition, she has been a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and district-level librarian mentor. Judi has taught preservice school librarians since 1995. She is currently an adjunct associate professor for the iSchool at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has taught courses in instructional partnerships and school librarian leadership, multimedia resources and services, children’s and young adult literature, and storytelling. Her research agenda focuses on the professional development of school librarians for the leadership and instructional partner roles. She has published four professional books; the most recent is Maximizing School Librarian Leadership: Building Connections for Learning and Advocacy (ALA 2018). (See the book study on this blog.) Judi earned the American Library Association's 2019 Scholastic Library Publishing Award.

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