Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Evidence-Based Practice

Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Evidence-Based Practice

Article excerpt

Much has been written recently about the importance of "evidence based practice" for teacher librarians. By this term, authors mean that we should base what we do on the evidence of what makes a difference to student learning. It would be difficult to dispute this position. Indeed, as we begin the school year evidence based practice should be part of the mantra of every teacher and educator in the building and district.

There is also, however, much evidence that the support of the principal is critical to the development of a strong, integrated program. What does the principal see as making a difference? Where are the commonalities and where are the differences?

Principals value most collaboration by teacher librarians. Collaboration affects achievement. Not much problem there ... except that some principals have little experience in developing collaborative work environments and little experience in observing collaboration between classroom teachers and the teacher-librarian. Similarly, principals can impose administrative structures (read rigid schedules) on teacher librarians that make collaboration exceedingly difficult. We need to invite principals into our programs more than has been our tendency and ensure that they understand how we can contribute to the development of a collaborative culture in the school and enhance achievement. This can be as simple as inviting them to observe a planning session as part of the evaluation of the teacher-librarian or explaining why your attendance at grade-wide or subject department meetings are critical to your success. …

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