Friday, 6 September 2013

Module 3 and a crisis of confidence.

I am feeling overwhelmed. Or perhaps I am in the dip that Kuhlthau refers to in the feelings associated with researching a task. There is so much going on in my head from everything I have read and I am not sure if I am swimming or drowning.

When I enrolled to be in this course, I had a preconception of what it meant for me to be a teacher librarian. I want to get out of the classroom, for a variety of reasons. I want to stay in education. I have always loved the library and I have worked with some amazing teacher librarians.

So much of what I have read has challenged me. I find myself asking: is this what I want? Is this the shift of focus I am looking for?

I was inspired and at the same time overwhelmed when I watched Joyce Valenza in her talk 'See Sally Research'.

I am daunted by her website 'Spartan Guides'. I have done a lot of work with ICT's over the past decade.

I have been involved in ICT 'Vision' projects, exploring the potential and possibilities for web2.0. I have been an ICT coordinator. But there is so so so much that I just don't know, am not familiar with. Can I teach, as a teacher librarian in a 21st century world? Can I be a fraction of what Valenza is, and the passion that she shows for the job? For if nothing else, I want to have a passion and a drive for my new career direction - else what is the point?

Judy O'Connell (2102) started her article 'So you think they can learn?' with 'teachers are passionate people, committed to providing students with rich learning experiences and diverse opportunities to help them rise to the challenges that our world provides.' That is exactly who I have been in the past - but feel I have lost some of that in the overwhelming nature of the curriculum and parental expectations in today's classroom. There just hasn't seemed to be time for good integrated inquiry units. If I haven't had experience with it in the past, do I really think I can do it in the future? 

Can I become familiar enough with emerging technologies to teach them?
Do I understand what it means to be a digital learner?
Can I identify and understand the information literacy needs of the 21st century learner?
What do I understand about the pedagogy of digital participation?
How much to understand about checking the authenticity of online information? 
(O'Connell, 2012)

And that is when I came to some sort of realisation. I have been involved in a number of action research, web2.0, ICT projects. I have written web quest units, and believe in integration of content, skills and experiences. For the past few years I have felt that I have not been achieving in the classroom setting, the powerful learning experiences that I know I can and should be providing for my students. I do, actually, have experience with project based learning, and inquiry units. I just didn't realise that's what it was, nor have all of the skills and understandings that come from researching and becoming immersed in the literature, research, theories and dialogue. I think back on the most powerful teaching experiences that I have had, and in examining all of them, a lot of them were integrated units of inquiry. Which means, I shouldn't feel so overwhelmed after all. I just didn't realise I was using inquiry learning.

Which then takes me to - yes, this is what I want and it is the shift I am looking for. I just need to take the time to learn, research and process what I am reading and how I can envision myself as a teacher librarian with a passion for project based /inquiry based learning.

O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan v. 31 p.5-11 retrived from
Valenza, J. (2011) See Sally Research. TEDxPhiladelphiaED  retrieved from
Valenza, J. (2103) New Tools. Springfield Township High School Virtual Library retrieved from

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