Looking for some cool tools in your classroom? Think about the utilitarian roles of the teacher librarian-think Swiss army knife. That’s how one teacher describes the impact of the teacher librarian in schools. In a recent blog post on Edutopia, Josh Work, a middle school teacher from Maryland, shares his take on collaboration that is at the heart of his daily practice in his school. That collaboration in teaching and learning is with the teacher librarian. This blog is a must read for all of us who strive every day to become embedded in the educational fabric of schools as teacher librarians/media specialists.
From Josh’s experience, he sees the teacher librarian as a leader in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and technology integration.
“I have found the most valuable school-based resource for brainstorming, discussing, planning and implementing anything to do with technology has been my school’s media specialist.”
“…Media specialists are an amazing building-level resource for anyone that takes the time to collaborate with them.”
As in many cases, the collaboration began in simple ways, with a quick face to face conversation that grew over time to brief meetings, and then later to include co-planning and co-teaching curriculum. He also goes on to give some advice to other teachers about enlisting help from the building media specialist/teacher librarian.
Whether or not the Swiss army knife is an image you have of yourself, it’s great to learn about successful collaborations with teachers from another perspective. In fact, the metaphor does represent the multiple facets of our morphing role, so let’s embrace it.
Hearing from colleagues such as Josh who understand and appreciate the expertise and knowledge that we provide, is refreshing, and affirms the work that we do. It also gives us incentive to try harder, even in the face of budget cuts and increasing demands on teachers’ time. Together, we all can make the shift in instructional design and practice if we continue to embrace partnerships to meet the challenges of teaching and learning in today’s world.
Thank you, Josh, from the bottom of our hearts. We think you are sharp, too!
Work, Josh. (2014) “The Shift: Media Specialists and the Common Core.” Edutopia (weblog) March 18, 2014. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/media-specialists-and-common-core-josh-work
Image: Clkr.com: Swiss army knife