As one of two school librarians in my school district, sometimes it is difficult for me to find meaningful professional development when things are delivered en masse because ‘all teachers need to know this stuff.’ While I do understand that there are trainings that are required (for example, safe material handling) and other times there are trainings for district or school wide initiatives, sometimes I’m left wondering how does this make me a better school librarian, improve my library services, or enable me to better do what I do to contribute to the broader goals of the school and the district.
With this in mind, I was excited when the professional development committee announced that next year we would be shifting to a more team-based approach of PD through the use of Professional Learning Communities (PLC). The idea of PLC is that groups of teachers would be engaged in collegial inquiry on the topics of curriculum needs, assessing student learning, and responding to those that have learned or that are struggling with their lessons. I do believe that this PLC approach will better enable me to better collaborate with my colleagues in more meaningful ways and I do look forward to these activities.
On the professional front, I am a member of AASL and I look forward to further exploring their online learning opportunities. I would also like to spend some time rummaging through iTunes University to see how this might meet some of my eclectic librarian needs. Should I discover a really nice online gem of a magnitude similar to Cool Tools for School, I would approach my school for PD credit.
“Some Officers Studying a Map of Newly Captured Ground.” N.d. First World War ‘Official Photographs’. National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. N.395. Flickr Commons. Web. 18 May 2014. No known copyright restrictions.