I have been reflecting on my studies so far and thinking about what occurs at my school and I have drawn the conclusion that there is need for improvement. Firstly, our TL left our school and we have now been 10 weeks without a replacement. The library is currently being run by teacher aides and their responsibility is scanning out borrowed books. Secondly, our school population has grown quit significantly over the last couple of years with the introduction of year 7’s into high school. This has put a massive strain on our physical resources, and classes are now timetabled into the library under permanent bookings which means learning spaces are not available to other classes. And lastly, it makes me question how much value is placed on this resource and the people who work within it by admin and other staff within the school community. As I think back to a post I wrote about TL’s being endangered species which I argued against, at my school for the moment, it would appear that this might be the case.
This week we have been reading about information literacy and the guided inquiry models. We have been asked to reflect on what occurs within our school and the role the TL can play. As mentioned earlier we don’t have a TL at the moment so that human resource and source of knowledge is not available to us. We don’t really have a whole school IL policy and what we do is only superficial at best. At the beginning of the school year, the year 7 cohort receives a booklet from the English department called FLAG; staff are present one at our first staff meeting and we are quickly rushed through it. This booklet outlines all the different literacy strategies used from all the departments as part of our whole school approach, the contents include: tackling tasks, reading, researching and referencing, extended writing, scientific writing and vocabulary. Whilst we have this booklet, according to my three year 7 classes they hardly ever refer to it. I know within my facility (HPE), we teach paragraph writing very differently to how it is taught in English or humanities. This is something that occurs across the school, everyone is following their own literacy models and there is very little cross over between subject areas. I can imagine this causes quite a bit of confusion with the students as they try to meet the different expectations within each learning area.
I am not sure how one person (TL) can solve this problem as it appears to be a massive undertaking but the school does need a key person to drive the development of this policy. The TL is one of the select few who are actually trained in IL and inquiry learning and they should play a key role to building a better pathway. If we were to have a whole school policy, there would need to be ample collaboration between faculty areas and professional development so we understand, incorporate and teach the IL strategies as they are intended.