To follow up on Judy Kaplan’s post “We are not alone,” I want to spotlight a blog post by Principal Jan Iwase. Ms. Iwase is the principal at Hale Kula Elementary School in Wahiawa, Oahu, Hawaii. Last year on her Collaborating, Communicating, Critical Thinking, and Creativity Blog she posted “It’s more than a place to borrow books.”
There are so many kernels of wisdom in Jan’s understanding of how a state-certified professional school librarian makes a positive impact on the academic program in her school. Here’s a brief summary:
• Planning with the principal for a library vision • Instituting a flexible schedule in order to provide resources and serve students and teachers at the point of need • Modeling the use and integration of technology into the curriculum • Changing the mindset of classroom teachers for how the library and librarian should be used
And what I especially appreciate about this post is Jan’s summary of what a school librarian contributes in terms of helping students navigate electronic resources:
“Just because information is readily available electronically does not mean that students know how to choose the right resource, how to skim and scan to find answers, how to take notes and organize them in a meaningful way, and how to summarize and share that information with others. That is why the librarian is an important resource in the school.”
This list of information literacy strategies is also a list of reading comprehension strategies. It is not surprising, then, that when school librarians and classroom teachers collaborate for instruction, students’ reading proficiency improves. When classroom teachers, school librarians, and principals work together, students benefit. Classroom-library collaboration for instruction is a win-win-win-win opportunity – Collaborating, Communicating, Critical Thinking, and Creativity – for all.
Collaboration Scrabble Tiles Photo by Judi Moreillon