I was lucky enough to spend my 80 hours observing Mrs. Wilson, the teacher librarian at Antelope Ridge Elementary School in the Cherry Creek School District in Aurora, Colorado. I broke up my time between the summer and the beginning of the traditional school year since Antelope Ridge is a year round school.
What in particular did you like?
I really benefited from the conversations that I was able to have with my TL. During plan time we had amazing conversations about the different struggles that teacher librarians are facing and how she goes about addressing them. We also got into deeper conversations about how the TL position is transforming and where we believe the focus should be. This was something that I had hoped would occur but was not sure it actually could/would. I think something that we lose as TL’s is the ability to collaborate with our peers and this was a wonderful chance to take a needed break from being alone in the library.
What were some successful activities you did?
Because of time and scheduling constraints, I did my collaborative lesson with the teacher librarian I was observing. This was an amazing experience, not only teaching the lesson, but also the planning stages and debriefing. It was so valuable to have someone who is so experienced to work with and learn from. She had a lot of great question that were very helpful in the lesson planning.
What do you wonder about now....
I wonder how much longer our students can take being without qualified teacher librarians. It was a depressing task to talk about the cuts that are occurring in Denver Public Schools (where I teach) and even in what is considered wealthy Cherry Creek. Regardless of finances of the parents it seems like TL’s are being cut. I wonder also how we can voice our importance to parents so they can advocate for the position and for us. I think it’s very ironic and sad that while everyone jokes about how many balls we juggle constantly in the library they do not transfer this to the importance of the role… While it’s difficult to advocate for yourself and your role, we need to get over that hurdle or we will not continue to have the privilege and responsibility of teaching youth the vital skills we do.