Many of the readings I read this weekend related to collaboration. I am pleased to say that after sitting in on many meetings last week collaboration has begun to happen. I am working closely with the 3’s and team teaching. 3 teachers in the LC with 60 kids. Looking at signage and how they can work collaboratively to create some for the younger children. After the readings I realise we need to define roles for ourselves. Who will lead which bit perhaps and who will take their students into which room etc etc. I need to clarify tht before tomorrows lesson. With the 4s it has been patchy but lots of e mail communication with the 5s. Off to a bumpy start as I thought we could launch into a mini inquiry but to be honest I don’t think they have the skills yet…so it may be tree octopus and some web site evaluation. Year 6 is working in parts. A mini unit on Dewey and I’m working really well with 1 member of the team. I’m a bit worried about working with the others as I’m not sure they want me but in for a penny, in for a pound and I need to try it to find out. Year 1 and 2 are just settling in but are keen to be involved, we just need to make it a more 2 way process.

If I had not read about collaboration I would probably be doing it because my PYP co-ordinator insists on it however I would not understand why. Now I have some understanding and am able to support her and in doing so hopefully impact the children’s learning in a positive way.

I now need to start writing assignment 2. It seems to be creeping up on me and I feel like I am drowning at work. I need to make time and realise that Rome was not built in a day!


Feeling positive

Well no children yet but the last couple of days have been great. The TL course has been so useful and has made me think about the role in a totally different light. This week has been a success. Already I have collaborated with loads of staff and have started to attend meetings. I had never realised that so many people visited the LC every day. This means that you can have a relationship with a wider range of staff. Being off timetable as we try to set up the LC has proved to be a bonus.  I had never realised that so many people visited the LC every day. This means that you can have a relationship with a wider range of staff.

The good news is that everyone seems to be very positive about collaborating and it is expected by the SLT. This can only be a good thing. A more flexible time-tabling is starting to emerge and we may even merge some classes so that we can have exciting learning experiences going on.  Hopefully learning will improve. Feeling optimistic.

The weather has been amazing in HK this week. The skies have been really clear and the skies very blue. The views have been spectacular and my short walk to work has been very pleasant.

Work starts

Work started today. Luckily all the boxes and stuff from the art centre have been moved so we can walk around now. However the amount of rubbish is quite scary. One cupboard had old diaries dating back to 2000. I cleared stuff that had been there for years without anyone looking at it. Not exactly what I had in mind as the role of the TL but someone’s got to do it. However if I do a bit everyday we will soon have a pleasant working environment in which we can learn and inquire. Hoping to work on time-tabling and meeting year groups to plan! welcome to collaboration central.

Essay deadline looming!

Almost finished the essay but I am now finding it very difficult to stick to the word limit. There are somethings that I am aware of but have only really mentioned. I know that the principal plays an enormous role but somehow I can’t fit in more than a few lines..if that. I feel very positive about my understanding but I’m not sure that my writing capabilities actually reflect that.

I thought the Todd articles on evidence based practice were very interesting and have used those to provide the theory for over coming the obstacles. I now need to find practical ways to use this theory but I’ve run out of words. I think I will need to look at the first few paragraphs on the ILSC and try and trim those down.

I think the essay has really made me think carefully about the role. My initial thinking was quite limited I think and my perceptions were also quite outdated. I knew that the teacher librarian did more than order and catalogue books but I don’t think I could have verbalised it. Now I realise that they have a huge impact on student learning.

So what do I need to do to be a good TL?

1. Collaborate with teachers and other members of the school community

2. Ensure that I have a clear role and that others within the community are aware of it.

3. Be visible. Not just by talking about what I am doing but by using evidence based practice to highlight improvements in student learning.

4. Keep up to date with the research so I can talk knowledgeably about how libraries and librarians impact schools and learning.

5. Be involved in planning, assessment and evaluation of learning experiences, ensuring that information literacy is integrated within the curriculum.

6. Provide inset/ training for staff and workshops for parents.

7. Teach, using resource based learning/ inquiry based learning

8. Make Intranet resources such as pathways and wikis for my students and teachers to use.

9. Keep up to date with ICT tools and utilise them in school.

10. Don’t panic!

Back in Hong Kong now after 6 weeks in the UK. It was very difficult to leave as the house and country is so beautiful. The river and the mill-race in the back yard make it rather special.  Back to work officially on Thursday..the new role commences. Am I ready? No! Am I knowledgable enough? No! Am I excited and interested and motivated? Yes! Bring it on…when I’ve finished the essay!


Librarians for the 21st Century

Whilst search for information for my up and coming assignment I found this by Meredith Farkhas. It was written in 2006 but I still think it has relevance for today. I particularly like the idea of embracing change. If we can not embrace change then we are unable to create ILSC. We need to be risk takers and try the new whilst also evaluating; taking on only those that will improve learning.

As for the essay. 800 words down but I’ve written far too much and I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get round to analysing issues and how to solve them. I need a good editor or perhaps a teacher librarian!

The role of the TL in facilitating collaborative efforts

Bottom line…student achievement. If we as TLs make no impact on this then we are not worth a bean. There has been a lot of research proving that TLs do make a difference but as educational environments change and schools move towards becoming Information Literate School Communities what should we do?

Farmer (2007) notes that the following needs to be worked upon.

1. Address the collaborative needs of the community.

2. Demonstrate how library resources and services contribute to student achievement and how this can be optimised through collaboration.

3. Ensure that students have a rich collection of resources to address the needs of all.

4. Ensure our schools have qualified library staff.

5. Integrate information literacy throughout the curriculum.

6. Collaborate with the school community to provide a systematic program of teaching and learning.

7. Be proactive in supporting the community demonstrating what the library and the  librarian can do for whole school achievement.

Evidence based practice obviously has a large role to play here. If we are to prove that we can make a difference we need to show we can through empirical research. Not only this though we need to embrace change. As schools change so should we. Yes we still need to be managers of resources and collection builders but we also need to ensure that our libraries are without walls and that we can provide the best and most appropriate resources for our teachers and students virtual or traditional.

On another matter here is an interesting paper on learning spaces from Farmer (2009), worth a read.