Assignment 2 Part B Critical Reflection

Provide a critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject.

This should include examples captured from your three compulsory blog tasks, other personal reflections posted on your blog, and from participation in the ETL401 forums. Since this a university assignment, you should also include in-text references and a Reference list at the end of the blog post using the APA referencing format.

Word count: 750 words +/- 10%

 

 

 

Reflecting back over the last couple of months of study has been an interesting experience. It has proven helpful as an acknowledgement of how much I’ve learnt and how much I didn’t know at the beginning.

 

Initially I found I was in awe of the ‘fullness’ of the role of the TL – the potential for what the role could entail.  I like so many others had little idea of what exactly an excellent TL could accomplish.  Although these were initial understandings, they have remained with me unchanged since then.  They fill me with terror as well as pride.  Terror at the precedent set by all the hard working TL’s in the world and pride at the thought that I was to be joining their ranks and might one day be increasing student learning outcomes throughout an entire school.

 

Misconceptions of the TL role are a recurrent theme throughout my semester of study, first appearing in ‘Where to Now – teacher librarians?’ (Eyre, 2012). I discuss the misconceptions and how TL’s can counteract them.  I mention the online discussion via NSW TL listserv into proving a TL’s worth and the necessity felt by these TL’s to get their message out. My tone (an important indicator in reflecting feelings) at this stage was one of ‘professional observation’. These ideas were new to me and I was absorbing them with very little personal investment.  Blog Task 1 (Eyre, 2012a) saw the theme continue with direct quotes form sources AASL and the Australian House of Representatives report into School Libraries and Librarians in the 21 century.  The task also introduced the idea that technology has changed the TL role, as well as the importance of the school principal to the role.

 

With regards to technology my view has developed into a more measured and detailed one and I no longer believe technology is the catalyst for the role changing. This change in view started to become apparent in ‘Teacher Librarian priorities for the 21st century’ (Eyre, 2012b) where I explain the TL’s priorities haven’t really changed over the previous 60 or so years. The tools (digital technology) used and physical environment in which a TL works have changed but not the priorities. Eyre, 2012b also reveals a shift in tone. The use of capitalization and exclamation marks for emphasis reveals a greater investment in the topic.

 

Principal support was a major part of the Blog Task 1.  I quoted from required readings, newspaper articles and the NSW Principal’s Association to prove that Principals often overlook the library when it comes to funding as well as not fully understanding the role of the TL. These ideas are reiterated in ‘Feelings at the end of Subject 1’ (Eyre, 2012c). The tone of Blog Task 1 is one of cautious optimism. ‘Teacher Librarians should embrace this time, ‘step up to the mark’ and be a part of the race towards better student outcomes’ (Eyre, 2012c, final paragraph)

Another theme to be found in my writings is that of TL responsibility. In Eyre 2012b, I state that if all TL’s had been following the basic priorities, then perhaps there wouldn’t be such a conversation happening around their role and worth today. I make a call to ensure that TL’s are performing at their peak and adhering to core values.  My tone was starting to reflect a level of frustration with members of the profession. TL responsibility is continued in Eyre, 2012d; Eyre, 2012f and Eyre, 2012g. I question whether TL’s are doing enough to support the continuation of their roles.  I discuss the necessity of using Guided Inquiry (GI) and wonder at the employment of unqualified people into the roles of TL.

 

Another source of frustration revealed in several blog posts is directed at governments, education authorities and also teacher’s unions (Eyre, 2012c; Eyre, 2012e; Eyre, 2012f).  I recognise the irony that the solution to many of the concerns about TL’s and their role is the education of the very bodies (governmental, educational) that are in the business of educating our students.  As the semester progresses the tone of my posts starts to reflect my apprehension about the future role of TL.

 

Forum posts generally reflect the same however a feeling of security does come about when I’m quoting research which explicitly shows correlations between well-funded library programs and literacy levels and/or student learning outcomes.

 

So how will these reflections inform my future practice?

Firstly I will ensure that decisions are made upon the premise that increased student learning outcomes are the main objective.  Using a proven model of Inquiry Learning and involving the wider school community will achieve this whilst also helping to provide evidence of the worth of the TL and the library. Essential to this is ensuring a strong and vibrant interaction with the student body.  A strong and vibrant working relationship with the school principal is also required.  A positive and strong attitude will be needed in order to achieve these goals and the process will be an ongoing one with challenges and successes.

 

 

REFERENCES

Eyre, K. (2012). Where to Now? – Teacher Librarians? [Blog Post].  Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012a). Blog Task 1, The Role of the Teacher Librarian and Principal Support. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012b). Priorities of the TL in the 21st Century. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012c). Feelings end Subject 1. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012d). Super-Librarians- New Breed. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012e). Thoughts after Topic 2 readings. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012f). Evidence Governments Can’t Ignore! [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

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