How can Teacher Librarians (TLs) support the ongoing professional development (pro-D) of other teachers?
Researching this week’s post, I came across an article from 2005 by Carol Harvey that outlined the role of a TL for other teachers. It is interesting to look over the various expectations of a “Library Media Specialist” from ten years ago. Basically the document states that a librarian is a teacher, collaborator, resource locator, literature lover, staff developer, innovator, manager, helper, team player, lifelong learner, and is flexible and technology literate. Sound about right?
Many of the expectations on this list are still true for TLs working in Learning Commons Libraries today; however, I would argue that in order to better support 21st Century teaching and learning, a TL cannot simply be technology literate. Rather, we must strive to be technology leaders. It is often within this role that other teachers look to us to help with ongoing professional development. TLs cannot possibly know everything there is to know about technology, but it is our responsibility to collaborate with others in our district, such as District Technology Coordinators and other tech-savvy staff members, to help teachers integrate technology into our classrooms in a meaningful way.
Here are some ways in which I have seen excellent TLs supporting other teachers with technology in my brief time as a new TL:
- Advocate for more technology in our schools
- Provide access to technology for our students and staff in the library
- Offer to host teacher pro-D events in the library to make the Library Learning Commons the hub of teaching and learning
- Be the Yes Person in our schools. When someone needs help with their projector, a missing cord, a forgotten password, the photocopier, embedding a You Tube video, or whatever the technology road block may be, be the person who helps
- Provide learning opportunities for staff on using school district subscriptions and resources for learning, including online research databases, video streaming sites, etc.
- Support the school based Professional Development Chairperson by advertising staff pro-D events on our websites and social media, providing space for functions in the library, or lending a helping hand
- Be a lifelong learner of technology ourselves! Attend pro-D workshops on technology and then share with other staff members. Use social media, such as Twitter, and blogs to read about how technology is being used successfully in education and share it! Finally…when in doubt, find the answer to tech questions on You Tube!
While I have not mastered everything on the list so far, I am constantly working towards being a technology leader. Tomorrow happens to be a pro-D day and I will travelling to Princeton with the other librarians in my district for a mini-librarian conference. I will be presenting to the group on how to access and use our online school district subscriptions through Learn Now BC and highlighting various free citation makers, such as Easy Bib. The goal is to help train the other TLs in our district to be technology leaders and resource people who can help the other teachers in our schools to help enhance learning for the students in our classrooms. Wish me luck!