Developing a personal philosophy.

The idea of my becoming a teacher librarian (TL) began many years ago.  When I was invited to work as the TL when ours went on leave for six moths.  I look back and realise it was the appetizer.  I received lots of positive responses and felt valued by colleagues.  The joy off sharing words and stories and then watching the reading literacy of any child grow, have been great motivators for me to move laterally to pursue a place in that niche`.  The searching and finding of information and resources for students and colleagues was also a part of my experience.  I was feasting at a comfortable table.  After beginning this course of study, an early blog entry reveals that I soon realised that my contribution had been one of passive support rather than ‘proactive initiator’, and there was a lot more to the job than I had seen in my experience.

I knew that doing this course online was going to find me honing my literacy skills, but the many new cyber experiences I had to participate in nearly put me into overload! However, I have certainly covered the first of Gilly Salmon’s (2000) steps toward e-moderating – ‘access and motivation’ (sited in Mitchell, 2004, p175). I found myself ‘lurking’ in the forum and feeling a bit left behind as students got in early and seemed to express themselves so well.  I was finding the research literature interesting and a bit alarming – but kept my ideas and thoughts in the ‘tertiary study’ mental compartment (and now also in a digital folder inside another folder).  After reading articles by Hay (2010) and Hough (2011) in recent Access journals, I know that the ‘shift’ is happening for me and that the ‘prism’ through which I’m viewing my own learning is revealing a myriad of things I need to experience, learn and then share with my PLN and the school where I’ll be employed in the future.  Pleased I’m part of a local network of TLs and joined professional associations.

The amount of my time at the computer for reading and thinking and using the blog and CSU library seemed to weigh heavily as I got myself through the first EASTS posing.  I was happy to trust the medium -though my limited confidence about my contribution to an online learning community is evident. The joyful sharing of the blog information with Lindi revealed my understanding of the concept – what followed over a couple of months showed that I myself, actually found it difficult to ‘open up’ online.  Yet, with each new tool I experience by ‘just doing it’ I can appreciate that I am on the way to what Lamb and Johnson (2008) believe: ‘An effective SLMS embraces next generation web tools that incorporate user-generated data to enhance his/her programs.’  I now have some great plans for future blogs! Post assignment 1, I found myself feeling that I was more comfortable with my developing digital skills and began to realise the importance of reflection as an indication that I’d been ‘practicing’ my IL abilities by thinking through the ideas within the information I was accessing and synthesising it into my own knowledge and philosophy.  Believe me – more was happening in my head that appears on paper!

The blog posts in the latter half of April reveal lots of ‘quick press’ entries – recording sites I plan to revisit.  Busy ‘other’ life at the time. Then in May I began to really appreciate the sharing that was occurring on the subject forum.  The self-assessment rubric shared, puts me somewhere between Novice and Apprentice – but certainly with a plan to become a practitioner following this course of study and some personal digital development.  Though, as Michael Hough (2011) suggests, I shouldn’t ‘struggle with mastering the technologies rather than guiding the young.’ . . . but to take on a new role in teaching where I ‘combine coach and mentor working in partnership with students’. (Access 25 p8)

My most recent blog entry was the result of revisiting an article (Mitchell, 2004) after a High school P&C meeting, where the Dimensions of Learning framework was tabled as the current direction being pursued at that school.  I realised how well the framework fit my philosophy with #1 focused on the learner’s attitude, #2, #3 & #4 a paring-down of IL models to be the ‘Acquire, Extend and Use’ (oops typo on blog!), then, essentially #5 is about how the learner is thinking and transforming. Through all this, I am evolving and extending my repertoires of pedagogical practice (aiming for collaborative ways).  Then I will be transformed by my learning and  become part of the realisation of the worth that a TL can bring to the learning table.

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