Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Philosophy of Teaching/Librarianship

Currently, I am working on developing a professional portfolio for when I complete my Masters of Library Science Degree and head out into the "real" world to obtain a position in a career that I love (can't wait for that day!). As a student in the school library certification program, we are required to develop a philosophy of teaching/librarianship, in which we detail our style of pedagogy and explain how that will apply to our library instruction. I wanted to share my philosophy on the blog, in order to get some feedback from all of our excellent librarians in the county!  So, without further ado:

My Philosophy of Teaching and Librarianship

Schools are some of the most important institutions in our society.  Every individual in our nation has contact with the education sector for many years, and thus education and the teaching of children must not be taken lightly.  It is my philosophy that teaching must work to prepare children to participate as knowledgeable and productive citizens of society. For children to be able to function in society teachers must work with the students to ensure that basic concepts are understood and can be applied by the children in specific situations. As a school librarian, I am expected to assist in this creation of our children by instilling within them the necessary information seeking skills and standards as defined in the 21st Century Learner. I have specific methods for developing this type of pedagogy.

First of all, I believe that students must be properly motivated to want to learn, and I will enhance their motivation through various meaningful learning activities and a positive learning environment of collaboration with classroom teachers and other building educators.  Collaboration is often the key to student success, and my position as a librarian will offer me many instances to participate in collaboration. Collaboration results in more effective services for teachers as well as students. For example, collaborating on a research project in which the librarian provides clear instruction on library resources as well as examples of excellent sources, the students benefit from knowledge of information literacy skills and the teacher benefits through increased understanding of her students needs in this area. I am excited to begin collaborating with educators to offer them my services as a librarian. In my experience, if the instructor is excited about her topic then the students will be as well.  I plan on using many learning games, learning centers, group work, and other activities to motivate the students to be excited about school and learning how to use the library and technology, which are necessary skills in today’s digital world.  

Secondly, I believe that librarians must create certain goals that they want students to achieve in their classroom and goals that they want to achieve themselves. Some of the goals for students can be created for the whole class, and others can be for individual students. These goals can and should be different for each student, since every child is at a different level of learning. Working towards a specific goal allows a student to track their achievement and motivates them to work towards higher levels of learning as well as helps the teacher to keep track of how the student is progressing and developing. In creating goals for herself, the teacher-librarian continues her own professional development, and ensures that new technology and other information is available to and understood by her students.

In working to create different goals for each student, the teacher is also working towards creating equity in her classroom.  Equity involves recognizing that each student learns differently and working towards addressing this fact in the classroom. In my library I will incorporate many activities that cater to the different styles of learning. As a librarian I will work with students of many age and grade levels, and I will be prepared for this challenge by creating fun, exciting programs that address the needs of each general level but also have aspects that are appropriate for either special education or gifted students. 

Teaching in itself is a learning experience, and I know that my philosophy will grow and develop as I work with different students and achieve different goals of my own making.  Yet, I know that above all I want to motivate students to learn, and it is my belief that this present philosophy will assist me in this endeavor.