Just like giving birth to my first child, the delivery of this first assignment for ETL401 is proving to be long, agonising but hopefully rewarding in the end result!
I have been looking over the Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians and decided to evaluate 2.1 Learning environment and 2.2 Learning and teaching.
The development of a ‘Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians’ was in response to the need to help teacher librarians ‘find their place in the professional teaching standards agenda’ (Mitchell, 2006 p.1). The standards are a benchmark or goal for teacher librarians that encourage quality improvement in areas such as ‘knowledge, skills, and ongoing professional practice’ (Mitchell, 2006 p. 5)
Within the learning environment there are several dot points which indicate to me that these must be dealt with. They are as follows;
- create and nurture an information-rich learning environment which supports the needs of the school community
- provide access to information resources through efficient, effective and professionally-managed systems
- foster an environment where learners are encouraged and empowered to read view, listen and respond for understanding and enjoyment
- appreciate the dynamic nature of ICTs and their role in education
To critically evaluate, I suppose, means to read and assess what is written then look at the strengths and weaknesses of each.
An excellent teacher librarian then needs to create and nurture an information-rich learning environment which supports the needs of the school community. If we look at what the needs of the school are, they would begin with developing successful and literate learners. These learners need to be able to function in the 21st century, amidst 21st century technology. Being literate is a constantly evolving state which has become to mean so much more than reading and writing.
Excellent teacher librarians also need to provide access to professionally managed systems. If the school library web page is your second front door (Valenza 2005, introduction), then teacher librarians need to ensure that it is accessible and welcoming when entering. Teacher librarians should have the skills to establish a school intranet (Herring p. ) as well as work with both teachers and students to create links to assignments and other information resources that can be accessed beyond traditional school hours. The expectations of principals and leadership within the school community will determine whether or not the teacher librarian will be allocated the time to develop online systems.