School Librarians and Administrators

I found all the readings this week quite interesting in terms of how they looked at what does a school librarian do that no one else in the school does. The feeling that I really ended up getting was that a good administrator and school librarian when working together and using the various standards that are laid out then together they can be more effective. I liked how so many things focused on using self assessment and goals as a way to not only improve how the library works but show teachers and administrators exactly what’s happening in the library.

I’ve never thought about how assessments can become such a huge tool for communicating what you’re trying to achieve. This seemed to me to be a very powerful idea because assessment is a huge part of the world of education and also complicated in terms of self assessment and student assessment because its hard to get right. So I liked especially the Weber article and Woolls where they took all these lists of standards, goals and missions and showed how they really connect in the day to day business of running an effective library. When I read through all the various standards, and roles they seemed powerful and like useful goals, but I needed Weber’s thoughts to help me see them move into the real world.

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8 Comments

Filed under school library management reflection, Uncategorized

8 responses to “School Librarians and Administrators

  1. Julie

    I heart rubrics. Not only are they a sensible way to measure student achievement, but they are one of the BEST ways to objectively evaluate student work. When there are so many standards and goals that need to be met, rubrics are a nice “paper trail”, if you will, to demonstrate that you are helping students meet those objectives. Likewise, the self-evaluation component is also important. If you are interested in becoming a better educator, this is a sure-fire way to make it happen. Plus, it shows your willingness to improve. My hunch, however, (and I’m speaking from personal experience too), is that finding the time to reflect is the most challenging part. Is there a way to build this time into our days?

    • I can see how that would work especially by creating an objective way to measure things. I really enjoy hearing more of how all of these ideas actually work out in the world of teaching.

    • Personally, as a former teacher, I thought rubrics were, at bottom, as subjective as any other way of measuring achievement, though a good CYA procedure in case you get the “angry parent.” Maybe that’s just me, though. I’ve always had a little trouble with rubrics.

    • Elizabeth

      I actually really like rubrics, too, at least as a student. It’s great to have a clear set of expectations rather than playing guess-what-the-teacher-is-looking-for. There’s nothing worse than getting an assignment back which appears untouched except for a seemingly arbitrary grade on the last page. Did he/she even read it?? It’s also useful as a way to reflect on and evaluate your own work, a skill that’s really important for students. I can see how rubrics would be really useful for teachers in assessment too – helping them to think through the assignment and have some criteria for assigning grades.

  2. I agree that it was useful to see different ways librarians set out to meet standards and goals and fulfill their missions. Seeing the long lists of all the standards that need to be met is intimidating, plus it’s hard to see exactly what they mean without any context. Seeing the different ways they were used to make connections and convey different lessons was both interesting and useful, and shows how creative librarians can be. It’s much more useful to see how something can be applied rather than talking about it in abstract because then there is something for others to relate to.

  3. Kristin

    So much interesting stuff is here both in the comments and in K’s original post. Regarding rubrics … and perhaps I shouldn’t say this on the day your first projects are due … I have learned to see them as guiding tools. They help me clarify what I’m looking for from students, help students know what I’m expecting (why spin the roulette wheel when you turn in work?), and help lend some objectivity to grading. I also learn that sometimes I create rubrics that seem ideal when I create them but that it’s not until I put them up against student work that I find that I left something out, overemphasized another area, etc. In my own practice, I sometimes keep a copy of the rubric handy as we work with kids so I can make notes about what I’d change for next time.

    As for time to reflect, as J asks? Very little (and here we go back to whether or not you protect lunch/planning time). And very little for teachers, either. The shower, the commute, the 5′ between classes become powerful reflection times.

    Glad the Weber article was useful. I particularly found the adaptations for her work within a religious school to be fascinating.

    And as I reflected on last week, it occurred to me that I hadn’t pointed out how much the personality/drive/leadership of the principal dictates the kinds of situations we find ourselves adjudicating and the kind of culture we work in. It’s absolutely amazing how powerfully our programs are impacted by our administrators.

  4. Kristin

    PS – LOVE that you are using threaded comments. Gotta figure out how to turn that on on my blog!

    • Threading is pretty easy to do, just reply to the comment you want to and that creates a thread. Its something I learned on livejournal because that’s how we do a roleplaying conversation.

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