Provide a critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject.
This should include examples captured from your three compulsory blog tasks, other personal reflections posted on your blog, and from participation in the ETL401 forums.
When I began my journey in ITL401 I understood that the role of the teacher librarian encompassed both administrative and teaching aspects. However, what I did not realise was how large both these roles are. My awareness of the myriad aspects of the role of the TL was first awakened after reading Valenza’s manifesto (2010). The readings, blog and forum posts have really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the impact a successful TL can have. I feel as though I’ve started to make my way towards an understanding but haven’t quite reached it as yet.
Singing for my supper.
It makes complete sense for a TL to collaborate with classroom teachers. However, it is not something I have encountered either when I was a student or as a classroom teacher. There are so many positive outcomes for classroom teachers, the TL and the students that could be achieved if the power of collaboration was used. The TL really needs to take the initiative in this area.
Before undertaking this course I had not considered the need for the TL to prove their worth to the school. However, the readings have convinced me that evidence based practice is essential in order for the TL to be able to demonstrate their value and more importantly to inform their direction.
Something that really excited me, although I hadn’t really thought about it before, was the requirement for a successful TL to be omnipresent in the school community, both physically and virtually. There are so many ways in which a virtual presence can be maintained, including blogs, websites, emails, twitter, QR codes – the list goes on. There are heaps of wonderful library blogs around. My favourite would have to be the Daring Librarian. I’m still working on my own blogging skills.
I realise how important it is to be physically present as well in terms of the TL being a school leader and collaborator.
A better teacher
Constructivism was something I encountered when I was undertaking my teaching degree. I’ve had few forays into constructivism whilst teaching and this course has fuelled my desire to return to this path.
The essay about information literacy has probably had the most impact on me as a classroom teacher (and as a future TL). I was intrigued by the notion of models for students to follow. I had always thought of information literacy as research skills so one outcome for me of the readings was the development of a new vocabulary and awareness. I was amused by the irony that I was experiencing Kuhlthau’s uncertainty principle first hand whilst researching. I was really taken by McKenzie’s Research Cycle. I like the idea of question formulation to direct and refine research. I also love the idea of opportunistic learning which I now realise I have been doing all along.
Finding my voice
This subject is the first time I’ve studied entirely online. It’s been much easier than I thought, although I do still find nothing can replace physical interaction with people. I’ve found reading the forum posts very enlightening. I have been particularly impressed with David Ralston’s posts. They are delivered with confidence – something I aspire to in my writing, although I have to say I’m a bit of a fence sitter.
I’ve tried out a couple of online sites to help me with studying. The first is citelighter in order to track my readings. I even purchased a year’s subscription so that I could have access to PDFs. However, whilst it has helped with tracking my thoughts on websites, the PDF bit is rather clumsy, and the bibliographic tracking could be much better. However, I am going to recommend the free version to my senior students. I have also been using Livebinder to save and organise any websites that might be useful. This has been much more successful.
My academic writing skills are a bit rusty. One of the marker’s comments from my first essay was that I needed to find my voice. I hope I have done that in the second essay – I’ve certainly strived to do so. I think, like anything, my academic writing skills can only improve with practice. Something I’ve enjoyed about the blogging is the relative informality of it.
I’m really looking forward to the next subject ICT Experience. The technological aspect of the role of the TL fascinates me. I’m still finding my way as far as blogging goes. I have not used tags and now I wish that I had. I will definitely use tags in any future blogs. During this course I have developed a love for the infographic – there are so many possible applications.
On a smaller point, I have finally mastered the art of the hanging indent in Word. A valuable skill for referencing in essays!
Word count: 806
Valenza, J. (2010). A revised manifesto. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2010/12/03/a-revised-manifesto/