When it comes to research, I am happy that the staff has accepted the help of the library. In almost every class and grade, when a teacher wants to do research, they seek our input on what would be best. Tomorrow, we are starting a research unit with a senior English class. On Monday, we gave the Trails (Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Literacy Skills) preassessment which was developed by Kent State University. The next day, the teacher came down during his planning period. The teacher, my co-librarian, and I sat down for about an hour. We all analyzed how students did on five different research areas (developing a topic, organization, finding sources, evaluating sources, and using information ethically), pulled out students who had already mastered certain skills, matched kids up with specific skills and lessons, and planned out the whole research unit collectively. We had some disagreements, but there was no fighting or bickering. We worked on it until we all came to agreement on what would best help these particular students. We even were able to find enrichment activities for the students exempt from specifics lessons. Now, we are all very confident in the sequence that’s planned and that it will meet the students’ individual needs.
This is not unusual, which is really the point of this whole post. What amazed me upon reflection is that this is so commonplace here. Nearly every time someone comes to the library, whether for a whole unit or just one lesson, we go through this same process to meet the needs of the students. It’s not just the library, either. A lot of teachers are co-planning and collaborating with other teachers in their department (Next step: get teachers collaborating with people outside their department.). This is not a burden for anyone; collaboration has become part of practice and that is a wonderful thing.