Teacher librarians and Principals have a symbiotic relationship in which each person’s role is intricately woven into each other (Farmer 2007). Principals are the leaders of a school. Their role is to create a culture of learning that enables effective teaching practice and promotes learning that is independent, enthusiastic and with life long potential. Teacher librarians collaborate with principals to make this vision into reality by taking this vision of academic integrity and making it real. How do T/L do this?
We collaborate with heads of departments to embed the general capabilities into the curriculum across units of work and year levels (Haycock 2007). We work with individual teachers in creating units of work that are creative and inspire deep thinking. We work with the inclusive education department to help structure modified units of work that promote equality and equity. We resource the library with materials that encourage students to engage with the content, promote literacy via recreational reading programs, and we do it wearing co-ordinated twin sets with pearls (Lipton 2016).
Principals enable teacher librarians by enabling the teacher collaboration that is essential for TL practice. They agree to school wide reading and digital literacy programs. They minimise or eliminate teaching lines so that we can dedicate our days to assisting our colleagues in their professional practice. Principals who need teacher librarians give them time and money to do their job. Teacher librarians need principals who value and respect them, their roles and their positions in the school.
AITSL (2017) Principal Standards. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/lead-develop/understand-the-principal-standard/unpack-the-principal-standard
Farmer, L. (2007). Principals: Catalysts for collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 56-65.
Haycock, K. (2007). Collaboration: Critical success factors for student learning. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 25-35.
Lupton, M. (2016). Adding value: Principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher librarian. School. Libraries Worldwide. 22/1 49-61