I was at a family function last weekend when my sister said it. No one had talked about the fact that I was changing roles in September. Now I know why–they had talked about it amongst themselves. She said, “So you went from being the Literacy Consultant for a whole board to a Teacher-Librarian? Like isn’t that a total demotion? Why would you do that?!” (yup, her exact words–gotta love my sister’s direct & honest approach??)
Needless to say, I was a little taken aback, but it made me really think about leadership and how people perceive leadership as being connected to titles. It also showed me the extent to which people don’t recognize how valuable Teacher-Librarians can be in a school.
What I explained to her is that I chose to be a Teacher-Librarian so I can continue to be a leader. In that role, I have the privilege of working with teachers, administration, and students in positive and impactful ways.
Two awesome posts by George Couros this week : 10 Easy Ways to Create an Amazing #Classroom Culture this year and 10 Easy Ways to Build a Positive #School Culture as a Principal, helped me to think about the ways in which a Teacher-Librarian is not just a leader, but has the incredible opportunity to contribute to the building of an amazing culture in a school.
An effective Teacher-Librarian supports teachers to try something different, offers a little tweak that can move a lesson or unit from good to awesome, offers a second set of hands, eyes, and ears to help differentiate and assess. An effective teacher-librarian can help a teacher find the perfect tech tool or resource to serve the learning needs of their students.
We know about critical literacy, digital literacy, information literacy, and every other modern literacy classroom teachers haven’t had the time to dig in to or keep up with in this age of abundant information.
But our space isn’t just another classroom in the school. The Library Learning Commons can and should be the heart of a school; a place where learning, literacy, critical thinking, creativity, and fun come together.
Teacher-Librarians also interact with students– lots of students every day. I am completely new at this role, so maybe I’m off base here, but I think that George’s Top 10 list can be modified for the role of Teacher-Librarian. This is what I’m thinking:
I’d like to create an inviting and positive learning culture when it comes to allowing cellphones in my Learning Commons. I am experimenting with the wording on this poster and would love your feedback on this sign:
More about building a positive culture by connecting your students
I am committed to helping teachers and students to see how technology and social media can be used to learn and share learning, connect with others, and be a more positive influence in the lives of others!
I am excited for the opportunity to work with teachers and students at my school and in the world on the following initiatives:
I would like to start a High School Global Book Club to foster digital leadership and a love of reading. My VERY DRAFT ideas are here. So far, I’ve got a few North American schools and an International school in Thailand interested. Would love for you to join us!
I am participating in the Global Peace Project sponsored my Buncee launching September 26th. It is free to join and is an excellent way to build empathy, cultural awareness and to work towards spreading peace. Details here.
I am organizing a Global Amazing Race EDU for grades 7, 8 and high school. The project launch happens on February 10th with a Virtual Breakout EDU! Details here.
I can’t wait to see my sister at the next family function to tell her all about my start to an amazing school year!
Quotation source: http://ottmag.com/most-famous-leadership-quotes/