Waving bye to my 1st graders, I exited the library towards the Grade 5 corridor, hoping to catch the team leader. I wanted to discuss my library lesson plan for the upcoming unit. I was glad to see her coming just in my direction. However, that also meant that she was on her way towards another meeting. Indeed that was the case. So I borrowed a few minutes to conduct our unscheduled meeting en route to her venue.
Collaboration is essential for a librarian to add value to the students’ learning experience and in their lives. It allows us to build rich opportunities for the students.
From unscheduled to scheduled collaboration, be it short or long, once in a year, or weekly. Collaboration of all kinds is necessary to effectively bring the librarian’s role into the lives of students and teachers. We begin our new term with a POI review.Homeroom teachers(HRT), single-subject teachers(SST), team leaders(TL), coordinators, and the librarians gather to understand POI horizontally as well as vertically. Next in line is to understand integrations across disciplines. Our focus is to understand single-subject and homeroom teachers’ needs to enable them with resources and services. This is when librarians foresee the library expectations that they can cater to during a particular unit.
The library supports all learners’ and teachers’ progress towards becoming better inquirers, consumers, and information creators. This support requires a solid vision, good planning, and consistent collaboration. (*1)
One such meeting is called Resource Exploration Meeting (REM). Before the commencement of each new unit, HRTs, and TLs, at times SSTs, are invited to the library to explore, make connections and foresee the use of resources required for the unit. During this meeting, certain thinking routines are also practiced to take it further with the students. This platform also allows us to hear the voices of the teachers, which are considered while planning the library lessons. Each library lesson is discussed with the homeroom teachers, necessary modifications made, and our roles and responsibilities understood before carrying it out.
Although we meet with the purpose of meaningful derivation, active participation often throws light in a new direction. While discussing the requirements of single-subject teachers, we realized that a session on developing research skills for the teachers would be helpful. This led to the planning and execution of sessions on search terms and evaluation of information. The north must be the same for all. During the session, librarians take charge and the team leader pitches in as necessary.
There cannot be a fixed time and place for the collaboration when you intend to grow all the stakeholders. Meetings in conference rooms or meetings at the meal area, meeting at a scheduled time or accommodating where possible, anopen-minded approach will be the key to wholeheartedly embracing the role of a librarian.
- Excerpt from Ideal Libraries – A Guide for school – page 2
Glimpses of REM with grade 1
Practice of thinking rotuine during REM with grade 1
IBO. Ideal Library Guide.
Sweta Mehta – Librarian Fountainhead School