Monday, February 1, 2016

Leading Learning Together!

By Jeanne Conte

Nothing says learning like a group of focused like minded educators who are led by strong focused like minded leaders.  Carol Koechlin and David Loertscher are bullish about ensuring that school libraries remain current in todays ever evolving educational landscape.  Treasure Mountain Canada 4, that took place as part of the 2016 OLA Super Conference, focused on the growing impact of the new Canadian standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada.  Papers were sorted according to three key areas: co-teaching for deeper learning, innovation for learning, and building a learning community.  Contributors came through in spades!

For the first round I attended Lisa Ainsworth's mini session where she described her experience with co-teaching.  Lisa experimented with co-teaching models that bring the whole notion of co-teaching beyond what we normally think of as co-teaching in a school library learning commons.  Imagine the power of co-teaching across an entire unit of study, where two teachers plan and execute all aspects of student learning, co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing, and most importantly, co-reflecting.  Co-reflecting is a key practice that is often glossed over, yet it is likely one of the most important aspects of collaborative practice.  After all, when teachers have the opportunity to reflect and apply new learning to future practice they have gone beyond using reflection as "the autopsy" and moved into the rich territory of true reflective practice.

It was also great to see the varied entry points of participants.  Everything from maker spaces in the library learning commons (LLC) to analysis of progress with LLC implementation over time was highlighted. As I flitted from presentation to presentation, I was caught up in the enthusiasm of presenters and their audiences.

Treasure Mountain Canada is, in my opinion, aptly named.  It is indeed a treasure to have this trove of research conducted by educators and teacher-librarians at the front line.  I absolutely loved Linda Hill's leadership pyramid that places the impetus for leadership, not with senior leaders, managers, or supervisors, but at the front line where the real action is.  The action is all about learning for ALL involved.  The role of higher management then becomes one of sparking creativity by unleashing potential and offering educators the space and support they need to get the hard work of leading and learning done.

Hopefully Treasure Mountain Canada will continue to inspire library leaders as the school library community moves forward with realizing the vision of Together for Learning and Leading Learning, or as the TMC button says Leading Learning Together!

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