Each semester I teach my students the importance of collaborating and co-teaching with teachers, but now as a school library educator I miss that daily collaboration and exhilaration of co-teaching I experienced as a school librarian. So that I got to have two valuable collaboration experiences this past month was very exciting!
First was a meeting with the other school library educators across the state of Alabama. As being one of the newest educators in the state, this was especially valuable for me! This meeting allowed time to get to talk about issues that we all face such as certifications and state standards, but also to exchange teaching ideas and share how we are designing our courses and internship experiences. In order to stay in touch and continue to share we now have a Google Group and space to share. I have shared this with some of my students and they have embraced this idea as one they could implement with various grade levels to foster that anytime anywhere collaboration that today’s technology makes possible.
Second was working with the amazing Buffy Hamilton to teach my class. We chatted about what I was currently teaching in my class and how she thought she could contribute to their learning. It was a new experience for me being more in the teacher role in this collaborative relationship. What a great learning opportunity this was for my students too! They were engaged and excited as they learned about things from a different perspective – just as classes are when the school librarian steps into that co-teacher role.
These two experiences and end of the year reflection have made me think about how I can work to incorporate more collaboration and co-teaching into my own practices. As the end of the school year draws closer it is that time for self-reflection and to look back on your practices this past year and ask yourself “How have I done this year?” – no matter what level you teach.