To have a hand in helping students find their voice and passion is the most important thing to me as a teacher librarian. At Van Meter our students are accomplishing this by THINKING, LEADING, and SERVING. This will assist them in becoming 21st century learners and thinkers.
The teacher librarian is one of the most important individuals within a school system. They are held at the heart of the school and should be seen as a valuable resource for all people to come to within and outside of the school. "As the essential link who connects students, teachers, and others with the informational resources they need, the library media specialist plays an unique and pivotal role in the learning community" (ALA, 1998, p.4). The teacher librarian fulfills the role of "teacher' in a vast number of ways. Teacher librarians need to be advocates and experts in technology. We must serve as coaches and assist students, teachers, parents, and community members with integrating technology into the curriculum within and outside of the classroom. Every teacher librarian needs to become a literacy leader through a variety of ways such as leading students to appropriate books and electronic resources, modeling reading, searching for and accessing appropriate materials, talking about books, offering a variety of books and knowing the reader's ability (Cart, 2007). I am a firm believer that we must be a information and technology literacy leader at all times to students for them to become lifelong readers and learners. This ties in with what is stated in IP2, "Librarian's roles as a teacher is to create a dynamic program that challenges students to crate personal meaning from information and to participate in a collaborative culture of learning" (ALA, 1998, p. 4).
We must surround people with quality, rich resources and tools and hook them to become lifelong learners that we as teachers are thriving for within a school. As a teacher librarian, we must constantly be using our teaching skills and be aware of natural opportunities to educate our learning community. We must encourage creativity and noise of all kinds. We need to make our library and school a place where learning is student-based engaging them in the learning process at all times. Librarians also must teach the nine informational literacy standards as stated in IP2. The librarian engages with all the students and teachers, teaching them how to locate, evaluate, and exchange the information held within the various types of resources and technology available. This is one of the most important ingredients in forming lifelong learners within our school. A librarian in the teacher role is continually learning and updating the knowledge the posees, therefore they are an invaluable resource for everyone to come to for current research on learning, technology, teaching, and literacy. This also makes them an expert on the curriculum within the school. Therefore, as the teacher, the librarian turns the library into an active learning center within our school, which by engaging our students, they are molding them into independent, lifelong learners.
I have a degree in Elementary and Art Education from the University of Northern Iowa. I also have a K-12 Reading Endorsement from Viterbo University. I incorporate my love for art and learning into everything I do with our students at Van Meter. I love making connections with others outside of our building and find lots of opportunities to use these resources in my classroom. I have a passion for technology and also intertwine this into everything I do, which is an amazing way to connect to our 21st century learners. As you will see in the exhibits below, technology, creativity, reading, voices, and noise are common themes in our library, throughout the school, and beyond!
EXHIBITS OF TEACHING OF THE
CURRICULUM BASED ON THE AASL STANDARDS OF THE 21st CENTURY