Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

Collaborative practice April 26, 2011

Filed under: ETL 401 : Topic 5 — becinthelibrary @ 5:49 am
Tags: , ,

As a primary teacher who has worked in authorised international PYP schools – some for profit, some non-profit, some exceptionally collegial, some not so much – I consider myself extremely lucky when it comes to collaboration. CPT is embedded so deeply into the way our schools operate that it is very hard NOT to be part of a well-oiled, efficient team who have the the needs of learners at their heart.

Sure, I have worked with some teachers who just want to close their classroom door and ignore the rest of the free-thinking world but, by and large, when you work within the PYP, that just isn’t an option that is tolerated.

PYP teachers plan together, teach together and reflect together – this is mandated in our curriculum frameworks. Awesome hey?

My current school is the first I have been in that has a qualified, competent teacher librarian and boy can you tell the difference. Although he is not able to be as involved in T&L as much as he’d like (750+ kids, 37 classes, 1 TL), he is still a strong, intelligent, personable, visible educator in the school. His door is always open and people are welcomed with a bellowed song and a giant smile, he involves himself in student projects (as much as possible), attends planning meetings (where possible), sits on the senior education leadership team (SELT) and is pretty much the social hub of the school.

All these wonderful traits SHOULD make him the corner stone of CPT.

BUT.

How thin can one person be stretched? How realistic is it for one TL to be everything to everyone in a school this size? How can he be collaborative with as many people as possible when the sheer number of those people mean their view of ‘collaborative’ means very, very different things? With a staff of close to 80, how can consensus be reached in anything approaching a reasonable time frame?

So much of the time I feel overwhelmed by the desire to be this amazing (fictional?) TL we are learning about but it is squashed by the cajillion mitigating factors that attempt to stop this happening…

“Think of the solution, not the problem.” First Wizard Zeddicus Zorander, Sword of Truth series

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