Teachers Learn Better Together

Sasaki, Lori


Foltos, L. (2018, January 29). Teachers Learn Better Together. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/teachers-learn-better-together?utm_source=Edutopia+Newsletter&utm_campaign=276255f59c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_030718_enews_askingstudents&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f72e8cc8c4-276255f59c-79404615 Article with tips about successful collaboration between teachers, laying out basic tenets for smooth and productive working relationships amongst collaborating teachers. The author describes the difference between clarifying questions and probing questions in a supportive environment.

Although the article seems to reiterate some basic tips about collaboration, I loved the reminder to appreciate small successes and changes. In addition, I appreciated the advice to approach collaboration in a similar way to the way we thoughtfully approach student learning – creating a safe environment, setting norms, making things manageable. After all, the conditions we set out for student learning should be good for adult learning, as well.

Mason, Ariella


Semrud-Clikeman, M. (n.d.). Research in Brain and Learning. Retrieved February 11, 2018 from http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function.aspx

I liked this resource from the American Psychology Association because it covers a lot of areas, such as different ages or grade levels. It focuses on how the brain functions and how we learn. It also included helpful hints for teachers in the “Do’s and Don’ts” section.

I would recommend this resource because it helps a teacher better understand what is happening in student’s brains as they develop. Knowing how a student thinks and learns can better help a teacher adjust how they teach to how the student learns, therefore making an effective learning environment.

Just Say No: Keeping Your Library Drug-Free and Safe

Aubree Burkholder


Lambert, T. (2016, October). Just Say No: Keeping Your Library Drug-Free and Safe … Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2016/10/just-say-no-keeping-your-library-drug-free-and-safe/
This article addresses an all too common problem found in public libraries. It outlines some very effective steps to take in order to discourage drug use in libraries such as inviting local police departments to do routine walk-throughs, partnering with social workers, and training staff and volunteers how to recognize and report patron drug use.

I enjoyed this article because I feel that it gives a plethora of valuable resources and information for library staff to take advantage of in order to recognize and report drug use. 

Essential Librarian Skill: Writing

Aubree Burkholder


Griffin, M. (2016, September). Essential Librarian Skill: Writing » Public Libraries Online. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2016/09/essential-librarian-skill-writing/

Informative article about writing being the basis for all forms of communication. This article outlines the many reasons why it is essential for all librarians to possess stellar writing skills.


I enjoyed this article because I have always felt that strong writing skills are something that all librarians and educators should possess, and with the continuous advent of new technologies, I feel that many of these professionals may feel that this skill is of less importance than it used to be. I think it is wonderful that there are still professionals who feel that strong writing abilities are vital to performing their roles and serving the community. 

Taking Your First Job: Where the Rubber Meets the Road and Starting Off: Where Not to Begin

Brandt, Alisa

Akers, A. (2016, July 14). Taking your First job: Where the rubber meets the
    road [Blog post]. Retrieved from Knowledge Quest website:

Akers, A. (2016, August 10). Starting off: Where not to begin [Blog post].
    Retrieved from Knowledge Quest website: http://knowledgequest.aasl.org/


Anne Akers wrote these two blog posts about a month apart this summer and they both offer excellent advice to library students as they land their first school library jobs.
When asked by a former student after being hired for a perfect school library job, Akers is asked where to start? Entering a new library can be overwhelming and full of many projects from weeding to hanging up posters. Aker suggests not making any dramatic changes right away until you have the lay of the land. She recommends starting with small, easily accomplished tasks that give a sense of accomplishment. She also suggests setting the tone and vision of the library by posting the mission statement at the Standards for 21st Century Learners in prominent places in the library. All of her suggestions start with people and relationships.
In her follow up blog post, Aker explains further why she said to NOT start with the collection but instead to prioritize relationships. She says that to start those critical early days establishing yourself by focusing on the collection reinforces a certain stereotype (guardians of books) and does not build relationships. Schools need librarians who will be teachers and part of what takes place in the classrooms.

Evaluation: These two posts are so important for establishing how teacher librarians are perceived at what we can all do to change the stereotypes of libraries and librarians of yore. It means having a vision and confidently displaying it through the library environment and the actions of the librarian. I believe this is useful for librarians starting their first job and seasoned librarians who have been working in the same school for decades. Visions should adapt and while it takes a while to undo old visions, it is nevertheless an important task to take.

Building Bridges

Litzinger, Vicki


Wong, Tracey. (2013) Building bridges. Library Media Connection, Oct2013, 32(2), p30-31.


Ms. Wong starts by being very clear about a rocky relationship she had with a principal over a difference of opinion regarding her professional responsibilities. She knew she needed to take the initiative, and through hard work and a lot of communication and advocacy, she overcame this “adversarial relationship.” (32) In this article she discusses how she “learned to stand up for myself” with “the five points on building bridges.” (32) The points are: building communication, building community, building partnerships, building relationships, and building resources.

All five points were about advocating for herself and her program by discussing, highlighting, and showing what her students did and were learning through her programming. Through building communication, Wong kept her principal informed of all the work she did specifically around grants and opportunities she brought to the school. For community building, the author created a newsletter where she she highlighted student work as well as the collaborations she was forming with colleagues. To build relationships with her colleagues, she made herself invaluable when they needed help with projects or classroom work. And she made a point of conducting professional development opportunities for her staff. Wong also developed community partnerships to plant trees and to bring volunteers into the school. Finally, building resources was about her continued work to bring in grant funding for special projects. She was so successful at this, that she was asked to write a grant for their at risk student population and brought in $144,000.

Overall, “building bridges” took a lot of time, energy, and commitment. However, the “180 degree” (33) turn that happened with her principal was all worth it.


I am constantly looking for practical, no-nonsense, suggestions of what I can do to advocate for myself and my program. Wong is very clear about the time and commitment it will take to “build bridges.” And as professionals, this article is very clear about constantly needing to build these relationships, partnerships, communications, resources, and communities. Yes, we will be recognized as the professionals we are and what we contribute to our programs and schools, but it’s our students who will win the most.