There is a need to remember that it is impossible for a teacher librarian to continually add new elements to his or her role. One teacher librarian cannot fulfil all elements in a large school – something must go. Priorities must be set. Educational considerations should come first!
How might a teacher librarian might make his or her priorities both clear and palatable to the school community?
This goes back to collaboration and a clear understanding of the TL role AS YOUR SCHOOL SEES IT. My first step would be to discuss my role with the admin team (principal, AP, curriculum co-ordinator) – they have the power to shape my budget, my timetable and my priorities based on their own values, beliefs and judgements of the TL role. This would be the time and place for me to put forward my own ideas about my role and be my best advocate. We could see how our views marry, or jar, and then work from there.
Once this basic premise has been set, and I have the admin on board (as much as possible), I would ask for a staff meeting where I can best show/use my skills and how they can boost student achievement and make teachers’ lives easier – surely that is a win/win?!
From this base – admin and teachers covered – I would do everything in my power to put in as much ‘face time’ as I could in the library during breaks and lessons so the students get physically used to me. As my informal relationships and interactions with students increase, I could then use and show my skills to individual students, or groups, whilst they are working on projects.
These ideas are based strongly on the positive impact my current TL has on the school as a whole. He demonstrates all these techniques and it WORKS so I have a great model to work from 🙂