According to an article in the Daily Freeman, Kingston, New York spent $750K to hire five elementary and two middle school literacy coaches. When I read the article about how these coaches help facilitate literacy across the curriculum, motivate students through research centers, and provide job-embedded professional development to teachers, I wondered why school librarians aren’t being used in this capacity.
In the past ten years, while there has been a decline in the number of school librarians, there has been an increase in “coaching” positions such as instructional, literacy, reading, and technology coaches or integration specialists.
I served as a literacy coach for one year. I had been a successful coteacher as a school librarian prior to taking that position. I erroneously thought I could make a greater impact on instruction through an “authoritative” role; the teachers had to work with me. I returned to school librarianship the following year because, in my experience, coteaching was more effective than coaching, most notably in terms of the impact on adult learning—mine and that of my classroom teacher colleagues.
From where I sit on the “library team,” maximizing the school librarians’ impact through “coteaching” has several advantages over “coaching.”
What is your experience?
Hicks, M. A.. “School News.” Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com.
Knowles, M. (1978). The adult learner: A neglected species. (2nd ed.). Boston: Gulf.