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CAL Conference Musings

I am amazed by the variety and quality of workshops for school librarians this year! Hats off to the program committee, and our own Susan Gilbert for stepping up to serve on the program committee and helping to assure that we are well represented. And, of course, a big thank you to all of the school librarians who submitted proposals, and for taking the time to share your expertise with us!

I will be sharing my notes from sessions I’ve attended at CAL so far. -Nancy

Toni Buzzeo: Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships K-12 

Big Ideas and practical advice:

  • Teacher-Librarians can lead the movement to encourage higher level thinking—critical thinking: We MUST find ways to give students more PRACTICE with problem solving and critical thinking
  • There are actually 4 levels of collaboration:
    • Cooperation
    • Coordination
    • Collaboration
    • Data-Driven Collaboration: For instance, if you look at the data from assessments and determine that students belonging to a particular teacher have difficulty with cause and effect, you can approach that teacher by stating “I have a great idea to help your students with the concept of cause and effect…”
  • Don’t advocate for the LIBRARY – Advocate for the kids.
  • If you have a whole class or department where a teacher or group of teachers won’t collaborate with you –sometimes you have to let that go – BUT – you are still responsible for making sure that those kids learn the essential information literacy skills. Work through the specialists for them.
  • You must display leadership by getting involved in curriculum-level committees.
  • The
    Colorado studies and others have shown over and over again that resources are not enough –collaboration to integrate information literacy is the key to student achievment
  • Three step journey to achieving collaboration –roadblocks that must be overcome:
    • School culture
    • Scheduling
    • Administrative Support
  • “Work with the Living” – Mary Alice Anderson
  • Three types of teachers:
    • “Oh yeah!”
    • “Yeah, but…”
    • “No way in heck”
  • Scheduling ideas:
    • Create a library committee of faculty
    • Schedule a weekly planning day
    • Start small –Get your principal to agree to two months out of the year for a flexible schedule and prove how powerful collaboration can be during that time
    • Get rotating subs for collaboration time –and use your budget if necessary
  • “No administrator left behind” –staff development for principals
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