Sunday, August 29, 2010

Topic 5- Collaborative Planning and Teaching

This week's topic was really relative for me. Colleagues and I have been attempting to instil collegial planning time to discuss our week ahead of learning and teaching and reflect on the week gone.
This has been anywhere between a ten to forty minute session and usually results in the week ahead planned and resources copied and developed. It is some of the most beneficial time of my whole week and it makes me wonder why there is not SOOOO much more of it happening.

Some reasons why it does happen:
* the two other staff members I plan with are good friends
* we work in the same office
* we share similar values and ideas
* we have planning opportunities together on a Friday

Some reasons why it doesn't happen more often:
* Staff don't get along
* Different offices
* Different approaches to teaching
* Unwillingness to change
* Unaware of the great benefits

The following quote off the Topic 5 module summed up my school:
"Schools that underplay collaboration are likely to focus on classroom management and teacher routines rather than on learning."

Also in the Todd reading:
"The strong belief in the value of instructional collaborations was tested by the day to day pressures of a school."

I often feel like I dont have the time to improve and be innovative and reflect and try new ideas because there is just SOOO much happening within the curriculum of the school community. There needs to be time available for this collegial planning to occur. Time is the single most important factor, followed by willingness of teachers to change their practices towards developing more team based approaches. As far as the Teacher Librarian is concerned, in a school where strong collaborative planning and teaching exists the involvement of the TL will be much easier and teachers more open and willing. In a school where there is less evidence of CPT it will be far more difficult for the TL.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Topic 4

I found the Louisiana Information Literacy Model for Lifelong Learning really appropriate for my situation. A great process I feel could be adapted to suit my students and school.
Some of the models, for instance the 8W's, I found immature and not appropriate for secondary schools. I also thought the 8W's was confusing- "Waving" "Wondering"- I really liked models that included reflection as part of the process. Too often in all parts of our lives we do not stop to reflect; reflection is a powerful tool.
The Alberta Model had a step called "Information sharing". I liked this, as similar to reflection, we do not do this enough and we all know students learn the most when involved in peer teach type situations.
A common feature in the ILM was defining the task. This is such an important part of the process as it allows students to put the problem into their own words. A great place to start!!

Topic 3

After doing the research and readings on resource based learning (RBL) it has become clear to me that a lot of practices teachers have are RBL or close to RBL. Some steps are accomplished, some parts of the process occur, but often not all. I think the problem teachers are facing is in allowing time for students to really become engaged by topics and complete the research. There is a tendancy to instruct in an attempt to inform learners as they may run short of time. This is where the teacher librarian (TL) needs to be active. They can assist the teacher to ensure all students have the opportunity to become engaged in RBL. It is essential that there is collaboration in the planning process to ensure TL and teacher are working towards common goals, and if possible TL opportunity to be present and active throughout the research time to assist the teacher to reach all students in facilitating their research. Thorough preparation and planning will assist in ensuring learning opportunities are not wasted.