Out of the Fire Swamp…

The Fire Swamp
By Samstokes80, licenced under CC-BY-SA from https://princessbride.fandom.com/wiki/FireSwamp

So, metaphorically I have been feeling like I’m in the Fire Swamp.  It’s not a great place to be.  The expectations upon teacher librarians (at least from our subject coordinators) seem insurmountable.  We are expected to be all things to all people.  We are expected to be excellent and outstanding leaders right from the word go.  We are expected to maintain a wonderful collection, in a welcoming environment, while helping teachers, collaboratively teaching and having every single class in the school for an RFF lesson.  It’s just not possible.

I also had (particularly last year) serious misgivings about Guided Inquiry.  The demands of that specific model and they way it is being promoted are inaccessible for most schools, certainly the ones I have contact with.

Between these two issues, I really felt like uni was driving me away from the profession I was training for.

And then…

Assessment Two.

Believe it or not, this assignment has restored my faith in the profession.

Firstly, in the process of writing a vision for the school library in my assessment, I was inspired to think about what libraries could truly be like.  Secondly, in the process of researching one of my strategic focuses, I was led to this article which gave me a lightbulb moment! We can have inquiry learning without guided inquiry and we can most definitely have inquiry learning without Guided Inquiry Design! I don’t need to avoid inquiry learning just because I don’t like (and have serious issues with) one particular model.

Types of student inquiry
(Courtesy Trevor MacKenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt)

Crisis of confidence averted! On with the show (and that final assignment!)

4 thoughts on “Out of the Fire Swamp…

  • 27th September 2019 at 7:50 AM

    I am glad that you were able to deal with those ROUSes ;). Great article! I feel some inspiration for diving in to my work on Assessment 2. Thank you for blazing the trail, as usual :).

  • 27th September 2019 at 3:52 PM

    Hi Liz,
    I just popped in to see how you’re managing. Wonderful news that you are nearly finished your degree. I can see your wealth of understanding and academic skills and hope that I might be similarly enriched by the time I finish it off too (hopefully mid-2020). Thanks so much for the leadership you’ve provided to our case study group. I’m just sorry that I don’t have the opportunity to be in a group with you again.

    • 27th September 2019 at 5:07 PM

      Thanks for your comments Alene! It was lovely to work with you also – it’s great to have someone to share the (informal) leadership with and team members who actively participate. <3

  • 7th October 2019 at 2:52 PM

    Hi Liz
    great post and link to an excellent article. So glad that you are now considering inquiry from a broader perspective – I believe that the subject focus has broadened too. :-). In reality, team teaching is not necessarily an option so the TL may need to find alternative ways to connect with teachers in inquiry projects.
    You might also like to explore project based learning as an option that might be applicable in particular circumstances and provides solid structures to support student collaboration.

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