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Last month we featured a few articles about The Art of Building Relationships. I have another dynamic individual to add to your list. She and I already happen to be work besties, but our professional collaborations are pretty amazing too. She is… the Teacher Librarian! (Note: At your school this person may be known as the Resource Coordinator, LMC Personnel, Technology Integrationist, etc. They go by many names, but they are always great resources!)
1. He or she can grant you access to thousands of books.
An obvious place to start, but the library can be an endless resource for amazing art books. My teacher librarian keeps a keen eye out for new art books and storybooks she knows could tie into my curriculum!
2. The library can help out with your measly budget by providing drawing books for students.
This option may seem a little unusual. But having drawing books available for students to check out has proven to be a big hit among the little drawing enthusiasts at my school. Having drawing books in the library also saves me money, as I don’t have to take the cost out of my yearly budget.
3. You and the teacher librarian can collaborate for special events and cross-curricular projects.
The opportunities to collaborate with your teacher librarian are endless. You could collaborate for special days and events like International Dot Day and National Children’s Book Week. The cross-curricular collaborations can take both of your curriculums and projects to the next level. Collaboration is also great advocacy tool for both of you!
4. You’ll have great technology support.
As some of the other titles for this position suggest, your teacher librarian can help with many of your technology needs. He or she can keep eyes open for new and innovative apps and programs. He or she can also facilitate awesome, high-interest practices and activities like coding.
5. You can get help with research support for special projects, freeing up work time for students in your room.
For example, this year, my teacher librarian will facilitate the research portion of my big fifth grade art project. This means, when my fifth graders come to my room, we can jump right into the art making portion of things!
6. You can form a PLC in your building.
It can be tricky to form a PLC in your own building if you’re the solitary art teacher. Why not team up with the teacher librarian? Your purposes could be any or all of the collaborative options above!
7. Teaming up can earn you VIP status.
Most teacher librarians receive hundreds of emails and requests in a day. Like most of our positions, there are many facets to their jobs. My teacher librarian is also in charge of tech orders and some special printing requests. It may seem a little unfair, but your great relationship could help bump you up the short-list for assistance and requests like mass color-printing and laminating.
There are many professional advantages of being besties with colleagues in your building. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of having personal connections in the work place. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration and kindness!
Does you teacher librarian go by a different title? How have you collaborated with him or her?
What are some ways you’ve collaborated with your workplace bestie?