One of my areas of focus this year is around reflection. I believe that as a teacher librarian my main focus is around collaboration and I have come to realize how complex collaboration is. I also have found that collaboration can be broken down into four parts:
1. co-planning. This stage can be short or long but typically starts with a seed of an idea and blossoms through either informal or formal planning discussions.
2. co-teaching. Here is where the project is launched and the teacher librarian role is two fold. First, the librarian part of the job takes over and the library skills are taught. The second part is the teacher role of the teacher librarian's job and that's teaching the project. This teaching ranges from introducing the topic to assisting students in various aspects of the project to classroom management.
3. co-assessing. At this point, I've seen many different scenarios take place and really it depends on the teacher and the assignment. I've marked whole projects for all sections, splitting the projects or splitting the marking on each project.
4. co-reflecting. And this is the stage that we usually don't get to. I find that projects can take a long time and once the assessment is done (after chasing all the stragglers), no one really wants to talk about the project or has time to talk about it.
We ask students to reflect on their learning because we see the value in it and we need to reflect on our own practice. It is very difficult to carve out time to reflect but I think it is incredibly important. When I co-reflect, we look at what worked, what didn't and what could we improve on. These are very rich conversations that really bring closure to the entire collaboration process.