Reflecting on our relationship, we found that to be successful collaborators, certain elements were present: * Mutual respect * Trust * Willingness to share power * Flexibility and creativity * Willingness to learn from each other * Open communication * Initial formal planning * Knowledge of best practice, information literacy strategies * Knowledge of curriculum and standards * Unified approach to classroom management * Technology skills * Documentation of successes and failures * Reflective evaluation CT: For the students who needed a re- teaching piece we employed a variety of strategies: we used pairs practice, high-interest Web sites such as athletic teams or zoos (for Web site evaluation), and exit tickets that functioned as an end of class assessment to revisit and re- teach a specific concept. [...] collaboration improved everything we did - we learned that we could set goals and accomplish things that would have been daunting individually.
Feature A Collaborative Conversation by Linda Staenberg and Susan Vanneman C ollabora- tive efforts between school librarians and classroom teachers are essen- tial to implement- ing the framework set forth by AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Combining the collaborative process with the framework of the standards is essen- tial to meeting the needs of today’s students. The Interview books. I had some experience collabo- rating with other reading teachers, but Q: One of the stumbling blocks to col- my early interactions with the school laboration is often the perceived loss of The two of you librarian were limited more to coopera- control and division of power when the are long-time tion and coordination. On the most ba- classroom teacher enters the domain of sic level, when the school librarian and collaborators. What led to the the school librarian and vice versa. The I cooperated on a project, it usually was following are written responses based on partnership? a simple matter of providing support, a dialogue between Susan Vanneman, SL: Initially, the love of books “When can I bring in the kids for book school librarian (SL), and Linda Staen- brought us together along with a shared talks?” berg, classroom teacher (CT), about sense of humor… and later a required SL: When working at the level of co- their perceptions of collaboration and curriculum that incorporated research ordination, the level of support is intensi- how it fits with AASL’s Standards for the skills. fied. The school librarian and the teacher 21st-Century Learner framework. They CT: When I was a reading teacher, we work on the same objective, but with were responding to questions given to often worked together with our students different roles. An example would be the them to guide their discussion. to share information and ideas about family literacy night we planned together School Library Monthly/Volume XXVI, Number 4/December 2009 15 for reading students and parents. SL: All of the elements we listed are own work and peer performances. This The true collaborative work devel- important to collaboration; however, would not have been possible without oped over time during the standards- one of the real strengths is continuous the collaboration between the school li- based course that focused on the reflective evaluation, which is really brarian and the teacher. Expertise of the research process. This was the ideal plat- thinking and talking about practice. school librarian solved issues involving form for us to incorporate information These conversations allowed us to im- technology, space, and classroom man- literacy skills in a meaningful way and to mediately assess each activity, evaluating agement that were critical to the success embed the elements of collaboration at a effectiveness and documenting changes of the activity. deeper level. for continual improvement in the realms SL: For the students who needed a Q: of both instruction and classroom re-teaching piece we employed a variety What do practitioners management. We sometimes modified of strategies: we used pairs practice, from class period to class period if we high-interest Web sites such as athletic new to the observed something we thought merited teams or zoos (for Web site evaluation), collaborative process need to change—for example, rearranging the and exit tickets that functioned as an understand?
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