Last week Judi wrote about professional development stating: “Professional development that supports coteaching works. It creates opportunities for school librarians to positively impact student learning alongside classroom teachers. There is no better way for the skills and expertise of two or more educators to improve educators’ teaching and students’ learning” and she gave us a great example. Judi’s post and this recent post on Ed Tech Review – What Teachers Want More Than New Technologies? PD Opportunities to Learn to Use Them Effectively again have me thinking about the role of the school librarian in working with teachers to integrate technology. We are seeing this same theme over and over again in recent studies – that teachers need more training for using technology effectively. This is a prime opportunity for school librarians!
And then yesterday AASL released a new mission statement – The American Association of School Librarians empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning. In discussing a new mission statement the chair said “three key components rose to the top” and one of these components is: “School librarians serve as the guiding light in transforming learning through new tools and technology.” Again we see this leadership role in technology integration emerging and I do think that most school librarians see themselves as leading in finding and learning about new technologies for learning. But what are you doing to transform learning through technology? Modeling through use in your own instruction is great, but part of transforming teaching and learning has to be teaching the teachers and I think we need to push to do more in our technology integration efforts and that is through providing professional development for the teachers.
Also this summer as I prepare for state and NCATE certification visits I have been revisiting and becoming even more familiar with the standards for preparing future school librarians. Both sets of these standards talk about the importance of teaching teachers through providing professional development and indeed I teach my students about this and they even have to create a professional development training session and present it to their classmates. So I know this is something school librarians know how to do and a way we can lead, but yet I hear more and more from school librarians that this is just simply not part of their job and that they are not recognized as someone who can provide professional development. So it makes me question why aren’t principals recognizing and taking advantage of school librarians as a free resource in their building to provide technology professional development for teachers who obviously desire it? And what can we do about this?