Entering the MLIS program with ten years of teaching experience, I was comfortable with lesson design, but creating collaborative lessons with the lens of a librarian shifted my perspective from being a provider of content knowledge to a facilitator of the inquiry process. The ability to cohesively plan with a colleague is an art form that requires tact, diligence, and flexibility while disseminating valuable information to families, perhaps one of the most important stakeholders in the realm of education is also important. My teaching background strengthened my ability to serve as a more confident teacher of information literacy.
In LIS 654, many lessons were generated and a strong focus was placed on the level and type of collaboration used. The textual support and analysis lesson, artifact 1, exhibited limited collaborative planning of content with classroom teacher. Prior to this lesson in library class, students built upon literacy strategies as they made connections to content while comparatively analyzing non-fiction texts. The librarian curated a list of resources pertaining to life in the middle ages for students to explore to expand upon classroom content. Students went on to read Crispin: The Cross of Lead in their Language Arts classroom and in a separate block of the day students worked in the library to create a digital narrative. The students constructed a comparison diagram and later develop a concise paragraph explaining the similarities and differences of life during the middle ages and modern day life. Students analyzed the treatment of others, style of dress, etc. and developed a three minute digital narrative from the perspective of a priest, noble, knight, lord or servant. The strength of this lesson lied within the strategies for differentiation which directly correlates to a librarian’s ability to value a user’s education and their learning style. Artifact 3, showcases a more detailed level of collaboration in which a social studies lesson was co-taught with a sixth grade teacher. This lesson used technology and other resources for the purpose of accessing, organizing, and sharing information. Students analyzed and explained how geographic features influenced the development of Roman civilization. To further develop their information literacy, students created a Padlet note to demonstrate their level of understanding with content and responses served as evidence of student learning.
As an information hub, the librarian and the resources provided both in print and digital forms have the capability to directly enhance and benefit the information literacy needs of all students. With that in mind, the Specialized Education Services class about assistive technology was one of the most rewarding classes I participated in because my understanding of student needs changed when I explored several devices designed to enhance the lives of young students. I learned that the digital age is making great strides towards creating more equitable access to materials and content. The work products featured in artifact 2 provide evidence that the education of families is vital and bridging the gap between school and home is sometimes difficult, but providing informational family workshops can help in this regard. I selected aided language boards as the focus of my assistive technology parent workshop. It is so very important that educational staff, parents, and caregivers be united in their approaches and provide consistent reinforcement of the work that takes place in schools and especially in regard to communication concepts. Working alongside the exceptional children class this year, I have developed a connection with several of these students, some of which lack expressive language capabilities. Providing the tools and more importantly the opportunity for parents to see strategies used in action by teachers, followed by chances to practice using the strategies in a casual environment would prove helpful.