TLs….worth our weight in gold!
I think an appropriate role for the teacher librarian in curriculum development should be one that is highly regarded and valued in the school setting. TLs play such an important role in their schools and the collaboration process, and can certainly enhance student learning and outcomes, as the evidence suggests. TLs should have their ‘finger’ in every pie. Being across the curriculum and working closely with heads of faculties and teachers, TLs can be involved in the development of curriculum, unit planning and the development of resources and assessment. Schools benefit from this involvement on so many levels, and not from just an information and digital literacy perspective. Their knowledge and indeed collegial support can create authentic relationships and a level of trust, and provide teachers with the support they may not necessarily receive from other colleagues or even administration. I’m not sure I can state whether a principal should expect teachers to work with the teacher librarian, but I think a TL who is friendly, encouraging and supportive and offers their services, opens many doors that hopefully some teachers will take advantage of.
Improved literacy outcomes have certainly been documented in schools where there is a qualified TL. In fact, research conducted both overseas and in Australia reports that students’ learning outcomes and achievements improve when there is a qualified teacher librarian on staff (ACT, Government Education).
ACT Government Education. (2019)